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World of Telecommunications: BT

The end result would hopefully be an environment in which the company would lose market share but still be in an over-all expanding market (Donlon, 1997).

The attitudes toward residential phone use in the UK are quite different from those in the U.S. As late as 1994 British consumers considered even local phone calls a luxury and used the phone an average 8 minutes a day vs. 27 minutes in the U.S. (Maney, 1997). Consequently BT decided to launch an advertising campaign to stimulate phone use and thus increase the whole market. BT already had 90 percent of the UK residential market so its primary objective was to encourage people to use the phone more rather than winning new customers (Hatfield, 1996).

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO advertising agency and BT thought they had identified two main problems with phone use in the UK. Men, they found, used the phone more functionally, while women were more chatty. Because men couldn't understand they way women used the phone, they tended to restrict it. At the same time there was, according to BT, a false assumption about high prices when in fact BT had cut the cost of using the phone (Hatfield, 1996).

Two advertising promotions were launched simultaneously. The first focused on a campaign to reduce the perception gap between the actual cost of a phone call and the real cost. The second, more famous, advertising campaign used the catchphrase "its good to talk" and featured the actor Bob Hoskins with his Cockney accent. He would cajole men to call their moms for a chat or invite men to answer the phone and have conversations, not just hand over the phone to the nearest women.

Between 1994 and 1996 BT spent more than 100 million pounds on this advertising. When it started, the Hoskins advertising strategy was considered radical. It tried to address an issue--communication--rather than plug a product. BT feels that this form of advertising was successful. By their estimate the...

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World of Telecommunications: BT. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:48, July 22, 2017, from
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