Who says media can’t be creative? Not me. As someone with a background in media planning and buying, I am always on the lookout for ways to give traditional media a twist and make it fresh. I recently came across a new way to interact with consumers via radio. It’s called DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency), or tones that communicate a phone number to a landline phone. DTMF allows a phone number to be built into the radio commercial, so when a consumer holds their landline phone up to the radio, the tones dial the advertiser’s number for them. This was used by Hotel Arena, a hotel with a restaurant, bar and nightclub in Amsterdam. The hotel wanted to increase bookings at its restaurant while creating awareness for the brand, so they used DTMF to make it easy for listeners to make reservations.
Oftentimes, new media ideas are expensive, but adding the DTMF tones to the radio commercial added no additional cost to the campaign.
Ideas like these are not right for all advertisers. I think the technology would make more sense if it would work with cellular phones as many people are in their cars when they hear a radio commercial. We’ll have to see if this technology makes its way to the U.S. Nevertheless, radio is still a great traffic-driving vehicle and incorporating an easy-to-remember phone number or web site can still produce great results for the advertiser.
Here is a link to the DTMF article.