Mars Confectionery is set to offer users of BT call boxes free phone calls in return for listening to a 30 second commercial.
As part of a trial, specially adapted phone boxes will allow callers to dial a number advertised inside the booth and listen to an advert before they receive a credit to make a free 67-second local or national call. Mars is pushing its Starburst ice cream brand via the medium. The other advertisers taking part in the trial are Nimble bread, which is using it to relaunch its brand, and Silhouette Books.
The system has been developed by BT in conjunction with specialist outdoor contractor Phonesites and is known as Ad Call. If the trial is successful, the new medium will be offered to other clients and rolled put nationally.
The trial is taking place in 1,200 locations along the South Coast and combines Phonesite ads on the phone boxes with the Ad Call technology. BT has been looking at a number of ways to encourage more people to use phone boxes and recently introduced a series of offers allowing callers to buy cheap jeans and CDs from certain call boxes. It is also preparing for trials of e-mail enabled call boxes.
This article was first published on Media Week