Low-Cost Vonage Defeats Telephone Goliaths

NEW YORK Vonage bows eight TV spots today that position its broadband phone service as “Your telephone company’s worst nightmare.”

The work is the first by Korey Kay & Partners in New York, which won the account in March. In the ads a mini-cassette player reveals desperate messages left by former executives at big telephone companies, detailing how Vonage’s low-cost service toppled their firms, their careers and ruined their lives. A voiceover explains, “We didn’t set out to give big phone company executives nervous breakdowns,” just to provide unlimited calling through a variety of service plans.

Last year the company spent about $15 million on a TV campaign by Gardner Nelson Partners in New York that portrayed a grassroots uprising against the high costs of traditional phone service.

Spending on the new campaign was undisclosed, but Vonage chief marketing officer Dean Harris has said the company’s 2004 ad budget would be about $20 million.