U.S. Dial Tone Moves to M/C/C

Dallas Agency Claims $42 Mil. Account From Austin Incumbent
DALLAS–M/C/C has persuaded U.S. Dial Tone to move its $42 million account just as the telecom prepares a summer advertising campaign to lure customers away from the Baby Bells.
U.S. Dial Tone will be among the first companies to provide residential customers with combined local, long-distance and Internet access services when it begins operating nationwide this year.
M/C/C in Dallas ousted incumbent Makos Advertising, Marketing and Design of Austin, Texas, from the account with an unsolicited pitch to the client.
Said M/C/C president Mike Crawford, “We’re always proactive in communicating and talking to high-tech [businesses]. Based on a direct mail campaign sent to prospective clients, we piqued their interest . . . They did a quick review and realized M/C/C was more experienced in the market they’re looking to penetrate.”
Makos earlier this year launched an initial television advertising campaign for U.S. Dial Tone promoting the company’s prepaid service to consumers with bad credit. “Need a second chance?” was that campaign’s tagline.
According to Crawford, the prepaid telephone service acted as a test market for U.S. Dial Tone, which was able to refine its internal operations before launching its multiple general market offerings.
The telecom provider currently has operating authority in five states; authorizations are pending in 22 others. By early summer, the San Antonio-based company will launch service in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; and Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.
An initial $14 million, six-month advertising push will introduce U.S. Dial Tone to the public.
“We’ll be coming out with our guns loaded,” said Crawford. The campaign will combine broadcast, print and direct mail, in addition to a public relations component to “build credibility,” he said.
“I like it [because] we get to go into a brand new market that’s [already] a staple to consumers,” Crawford continued. “Dial Tone–it’s like bread, we’ve got to have it. But the twist is it’s going to be free competition.
“M/C/C has been focusing on the high-tech industry for over 14 years. It’s great to see markets like this that appeal to the masses, where we can bring our experience to take this out and make it on a broad scale,” said Crawford.