RE: To Hear More Ads, Press One

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From: Mark Day (
Date: Thu May 18 2000 - 03:31:34 PDT

> Whether consumers will be willing to put up with this kind of
> advertising remains to be seen. The question is will people be
> willing to listen to ads over their phones in order to get a free
> stock quote or traffic report?

Well, duh. I guess it would be too much to expect either those energetic
denizens of the New Economy or the reporter to actually answer this
rhetorical question, but all you have to do is press *1 on your cell phone
in the Boston area so as to hear traffic reports interspersed with ads for
MediaOne and Avis. I use it almost every day so as to know where to cut over
to 128 from where I live.

There's an ad that plays right after you connect to the service, which you
can interrupt if you already know how the service works. Then there's
another ad that plays right before the report for the road you've requested,
so you have to hear it if you want the info afterward. I don't know whether
the two kinds of slots are priced differently: the first one gets played to
a bigger audience, but might not be heard.

So far I've only heard broadly-targeted ads. I would think that someone with
(say) a store on route 9 would want to buy that road's ad slot to convince
people to stop in along the way to wherever they're going, but I haven't run
into anything like that yet.


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