Free directory assistance service 1-800-FREE411 has sold out its 2008 “sponsorships,” which are its national ad placements, a testament to both how targeted and limited inventory is for the Jingle-owned service.
Marketers, both national and regional, like the audio sponsor placements for a few reasons. First, they’re completely intrusive (therefore more effective), yet users are by and large Ok with that since putting up with the inconvenience saves them two bucks or so per call. Second, available data for targeting include geography, business category or a combination of the two, qualifying consumers in a manner similar to a search or or Web directory buy. Three, metrics are simple. Ingenio struck a deal with Jingle last year to let advertisers place campaigns with 1-800-FREE411 on a pay-per-call basis.
New national advertisers placing audio ads with Jingle include Allstate, Days Inn, FordDirect and Miller Brewing Company. 2008 renewals include AMC Theaters, McDonald’s, Nationwide and ServiceMagic.
The influx of brands also speaks to the company’s success in recruiting sales staffers over the past year or two, including former Atlas sales veep John Roswech.
The next hurdle for Jingle will be growing user awareness and adoption. It’s a task made the more challenging as new competitors join the fray, including Google and AT&T. Carriers as a group, when they wholeheartedly embrace ad-supported DA, will have a considerable advantage when it comes to promoting the services to consumers.