80’s band Tommy Tutone dialed-up a bonafide hit in 1982 when their catchy song “867-5309/Jenny” peaked on the Billboard charts. The song inspired fans to not only sing along to the chorus but also pick up the phone and see if Jenny REALLY was on the other line.
Thanks to the popularity of the song, phone carriers saw a huge spike in calls to numbers ending in 867-5309 – both local as well as Toll-Free Numbers. One Chicago radio station, WLS, even leveraged the phone number’s popularity to drive marketing campaigns!
Toll-Free owners and operators especially took advantage of the numbers popularity and put it to good promotional use. For example, in 2006, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, a large national plumbing franchise, began using a Toll-Free version of the number – 866-867-5309 – to advertise their business and services, including a cheeky marketing campaign that paid homage to the song’s chorus “867-5309/Benny.” Similarly, in 2010 when the “855” Toll-Free area code opened up, 855-867-5309 was reserved within 47 seconds of release. 844-867-5309 was likewise picked up in the first few seconds after that area code's opening on December 7, 2013.
Last year, social media personality George Igoe used the number to use store rewards points to purchase items to donate to Los Angeles’ homeless community. George found that there were a large population using the number as an alternative number when signing up for store’s rewards programs. As a result, the accounts connected to these programs were amassing hundreds of free rewards dollars. Rather than letting this “free money” sit dormant, George visited numerous stores such as CVS, Walgreens, and Ralph’s Grocery and used the money to purchase household and health supplies, which he in turn donated to homeless shelters around West LA.
Although “867-5309″ is no longer the highest charting phone number in music history, 867-5309 and Jenny will always hold in special place in telecom history.
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