SimulScribe launches an anti-voicemail campaign

NEW YORK: SimulScribe, a company that converts voicemail to text, has launched a "voicemail sucks" campaign to emphasize the hassles of voice messaging.

NEW YORK: SimulScribe, a company that converts voicemail to text, has launched a "voicemail sucks" campaign to emphasize the hassles of voice messaging.

James Siminoff, SimulScribe founder and CEO, is using New York taxi tops to carry the company's message touting the convenience of converting voicemail to text. SimulScribe is working with its agencies, Consort Partners and Big Fish Communications, on the effort, featured on 4% - about 500 - of New York's taxis.

The company is also using unconventional outreach to appeal to blogs and other new media. It's planning a media event in New York for press and bloggers with a game in which participants consume alcohol when a taxi passes with SimulScribe's slogan, Siminoff said.

"Less traditional outreach is what we like," he added.

The push targets professionals who use mobile devices "because those people already understand the power of text and mobile e-mail," Siminoff said. "It's really a product for busy people who need to buy more time.

"One of the problems we have at SimulScribe is the name is not one that people remember," he added, noting that the name was selected because its domain was available. Considering that, he wanted a more memorable tagline to appeal to the public.

In its first campaign, the firm used quirky phrases like "We shut people up," but has now focused on slogans that explain product features, like "Read your voicemail," Siminoff noted.

In addition, Siminoff regularly solicits feedback from professionals about the slogans, but found that many were confused about the product. "People know that campaign, but not the product, so we are changing direction," he added.

The challenge is gaining enough exposure with a limited PR budget, Siminoff said. The company closely monitors site traffic and the new business it generates, and implements necessary changes.

"If you take months to plan, you usually end up having to change plans anyway," he said. "We are letting this evolve."

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