Bates Introduces EchoBuzz

Free Voicemail Links Advertisers to ‘Echo Boomers’
LOS ANGELES–Bates USA tries to capture the attention of the teen and college crowd while projecting the image of a fun company that doesn’t take itself too seriously in its first effort for Blue Diamond Software’s new EchoBuzz free voicemail service.
A print ad breaking in the May 17 issue of Rolling Stone shows a glum-looking, shirtless man, in profile from the chest up, with a toilet tied to his head with a rope.
There is no thematic tie-in, just the jarring image and the headline, “Get messages in the privacy of your own universe.” Copy explains that EchoBuzz users register by phone or through a Web site, providing demographic information about themselves in exchange for a voicemail number. Each time they call in for messages, they hear a 10- or 15-second ad targeting their interests. The service uses a voice recognition system, obviating the need for “punching in a ton of numbers,” the copy states.
Bates’ Irvine, Calif., office picked up the estimated $5-10 million account late last year [Adweek, Nov. 16].
EchoBuzz is targeting so-called echo boomers–the 47 million Americans aged 12-24 who were born of baby boomer parents.
“When we offer our service for free, the first question they ask is, ‘What’s the catch?'” said Blue Diamond president and chief executive officer Blaine Ung. “The catch is, the more information you give, the more ability we have to tailor an ad toward you.”
Bates marketing director Jeremy Skiver said additional print ads are in the works that will break in September.