Hoping For A Media Assist, CBS Tries Assistance

In an effort to leave no new media stone unturned to help launch its new season, CBS is now turning to one of the oldest platforms of all: telephone operators.

CBS has made a deal with a directory-assistance company, Jingle Networks, for its 1-800-FREE411 service. Audio spots--similar to short radio ads--will run when consumers call in searching for a telephone number.

Starting this week--CBS' premiere week for the fall season--radio-like short messages voiced by network talent from shows such as "Survivor," "The Amazing Race," "The Class," "Smith," "Jericho" and "Ghost Whisperer" will automatically play when consumers call 1-800-FREE411. The campaign, which started Sept. 17, runs daily messages specific to that evening's CBS shows. Callers can opt to receive a SMS-based text message on their mobile phone as a reminder to watch the show.

Jingle Networks, the one-year-old company, capitalized on the high cost to consumers to use 411 numbers by setting up a free directory-assistance telephone service to consumers that is ad-supported. The company says it processes more than 3 percent of all directory assistance calls in the United States.

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