Eleven, IDT Get Personal About Phone Bills

SAN FRANCISCO Eleven Inc. breaks a humorous campaign today for telecom IDT, with TV spots showing a phone bill personified as a spoiled, obnoxious man who greedily soaks up people’s cash.

The 60-second “Helicopter” spot features a family whose monthly phone statement, a guy named “Bill, ” is treated better than the children. For example, he gets a remote-controlled helicopter but the son only receives a small plane, and Bill’s pony trumps the daughter’s pet fish. When the family grills hamburgers for dinner, Bill demands a big, fat steak cooked exactly to his specifications.

In the 60-second “Restaurant,” a woman has a salad and iced tea, but her phone Bill orders rack of lamb, lobster and shrimp. He also jacks up her dry cleaning bill by getting his shirts pressed, then indulges himself in a facial and a massage at a salon while the woman just has her nails done.

In both spots the people finally dump Bill, the family evicting him from the house and the woman abandoning him at the spa.

This is the second phase of Eleven’s television ads for the carrier. The summer TV work went national after a successful regional run, agency officials said.

The first spots broke at the end of May and showed salesmen going door-to-door with two telephones labeled “us” and “them,” asking people if their calls sounded different depending on the carrier.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. IDT of Newark, N.J., spent $25 million on advertising last year and $23 in the first seven months of 2004, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Eleven, an independent San Francisco shop, won the IDT account in February, according to an agency representative.