Widely acclimated for a decade in Europe and Asia, the disposable cards alms consumers chargeless long-distance time are assuredly communicable on here, and will be acclimated in several above chump promotions accepted this spring.
What’s alike added arresting to marketers eyeing prepaid calling cards as promotional vehicles: alternate capabilities including cross-marketing and announcement of added articles and services, and chump database development through users of the prepaid cards.
“It’s an adopted breadth for best U.S. marketers that’s aloof in its infancy, but prepaid calling agenda promotions are aperture new channels to chump accretion and loyalty,” said Leslie Milloy, business administrator for AT&T’s PrePaid Agenda unit, afresh repositioned to booty greater advantage of such opportunities.
AT&T wouldn’t acknowledge whether any such alternate business advance deals accept been active yet, but Ms. Milloy said the PrePaid Agenda has generated “intense interest” for promotions this bounce from package-goods marketers, airlines and hotels.
Several affair parks and Coca-Cola Co. are amid marketers said to be planning chump promotions this summer featuring prepaid calling cards as premiums.
Sprint’s prepaid calling agenda advance with Reebok International, accent Sprint’s World Cup advocacy this summer, is one of the apprentice industry’s better to date.
Starting in May, consumers affairs the Reebok Integrity Pro soccer shoe will accept a prepaid calling agenda acceptable for 10 account of chargeless long-distance calling. The agenda will be showcased on Sprint’s World Cup-theme arrangement TV atom breaking backward this ages via J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco. Sprint wouldn’t acknowledge added details.
MasterCard International, however, has challenged Sprint’s use of calling cards for World Cup promotions, claiming a abuse of its own “card-based payment” advocacy deal; industry experts accept Sprint’s prepaid calling agenda advance will be artless by the challenge.
MCI Communications Corp. additionally appear a new prepaid calling agenda this ages alleged PhoneCash, which it hopes to eventually action to chump marketers for promotions. Initially, it’s actuality offered as a standalone long-distance calling account through retail outlets, said Terry Maco, MCI’s administrator of all-embracing and prepaid calling cards.
Like MCI, AT&T and Sprint additionally advertise their prepaid cards anon to consumers to be acclimated for approved long-distance calling. AT&T’s PrePaid Agenda is awash through its retail Phone Center food in increments alignment from $5.99 for 10 minutes’ calling up to $29.99 for 50 units, hardly beneath its approved rates.
Chump promotions alms prepaid cards accept offered increments of 5 minutes’ up to 20 minutes’ chargeless long-distance calling time, depending on the admeasurement and ambit of the promotion.
Smaller companies alms prepaid calling cards are able-bodied advanced of the Big 3 long-distance carriers in this arena, accepting offered the cards for several years after any chump advance tie-in. The lure, instead, is images of sports and music superstars on the cards; in fact, these images can accomplish the cards collectors’ items.
In the accomplished two years, a change beneficiary bazaar has sprung up about the cards, in which an Elvis Presley prepaid calling agenda offered aftermost year by World Telecom Group, Mountain View, Calif., fetches $2,000 on the beneficiary market, the aggregation said. The agenda was originally account $10.
“Using stars and novelties on prepaidcalling cards has helped drive chump acquaintance of cards, and it’s allotment of the acquirements ambit marketers accept been through, but now we appetite to move into boilerplate chump promotions application prepaid cards,” said Kevin Pirolo, admiral of Advantage Communications.
The Memphis, Tenn., aggregation accommodating a two-month advance application prepaid calling cards this winter for Ryder Trucks, and has additionally developed several curve of collectible prepaid calling cards, including a new one featuring endangered species.
Global Telecommunication Solutions, New York, which accommodating a chump advance application prepaid calling cards in 1993 for Lufthansa German Airlines, this year is analogous collector-appeal cards for the National Hockey League, Above League Baseball and Marvel Comics. Anniversary is accepted to get chump artefact tie-ins.
Marvel hopes to booty advantage of both the beneficiary allurement of prepaid calling cards and the beeline chump advance exceptional of alms chargeless long-distance calling.
This month, Marvel alien prepaid long-distance cards in three designs based on collectible banana book covers, alms 20 account of calling time for $10 each. The cards are actuality awash through Marvel’s commodity catalog, which is apprenticed into all March banana book editions. The cards are additionally actuality marketed through banana book dealers.
Later this spring, Marvel will bare addition agenda in a chump promotion, acceptable angry to a fast-food or soft- alcohol marketer. That agenda will apparently additionally in clude a collectible banana book appearance or cover, but its capital advance will be chargeless long-distance calling and alternate business features.
“The prepaid agenda advance will [offer] us the befalling to absorb kids in amateur and added alternate functions that will advice extend our cast through the promotion,” said Jan Rimmel, accessory administrator of Marvel Entertainment’s appropriate projects division. Jerry Inc., New York, is one of several agencies Marvel works with to advance promotions.
Jeff Jensen contributed to this story.
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