New Advertising Medium Offers Alternative
As advertisers are beginning to experiment the largely uncultivated territory of advertising on wireless phones, one company is taking this fairly new concept and applying it to an old medium – public pay phones. Freefone, a new public telephone system, announced today that it would begin providing free local calls to patrons and customers, while offering advertisers a somewhat unique out-of-home vehicle.
Here's how it works. Freefone(TM) units are installed in high-traffic, high-volume consumer channels like grocery store chains, major retailers, malls and shopping centers, athletic facilities, schools and universities, bars and restaurants, museums, and health care facilities. This allows very specific targeting of advertising messages to the most interested audiences.
Unlike typical phone booths that offer ad space on the outside of each unit, each two-by-three foot Freefone unit is encased in a streamlined stainless steel enclosure with space for nine, 8-by-10-inch full-color advertisements inside the booth. Maintenance of both the equipment and the advertising inserts is provided by Freefone Advertising, LLC.
According to company execs, while most traditional advertising mediums get only a few seconds of consumer attention, Freefone provides a controlled advertising environment allowing minutes, not seconds to deliver an advertiser’s message.
According to Victoria Moss, Freefone’s marketing representative, the advertising advantage is outstanding. “Our traffic studies have shown that each Freefone site generates an average of two minutes per customer and as many as 150 calls per day. That's more than five hours of focused message delivery to more than 4,500 customers per month from a single Freefone enclosure.”
Freefone also claims exceptionally low costs. According to Moss, a one-time 8-by-10-inch black-and-white ad in a major daily newspaper is approximately $3,740. A similar ad in Crain's Detroit Business is $6,240, while an annual color ad in airport courtesy phones is approximately $11,100. An annual Freefone full color 8-by-10-inch ad, she says, is just $3,600.