Plantronics: Look New Jersey, No Hands

NEW YORK Plantronics next week begins marketing its headsets in the East, before a new regulation that requires New Jersey drivers to use hands-free wireless phone devices becomes law on July 1.

Until now, the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based client limited advertising to test cities in the West, specifically Austin, Tezas and Portland, Ore. But a radio and guerilla marketing effort targeting mid-Atlantic drivers kicks off Monday. The campaign from Boede + Partners of Salt Lake City will run for two months.

Plantronics’ “street teams” will be in New Jersey cities and Washington, D.C., asking passers-by if they know about the new law. The teams will distribute complimentary headsets and rebate coupons at Department of Motor Vehicle offices, retailers and corporate cafeterias, among other downtown locales.

Mini Coopers wrapped in Plantronics’ logos and promoting the company’s giveaway of said cars will also be on tour. The hoods and rear windows of the Minis will bear the tagline, “Because life takes both hands.”

Two radio spots were specifically crafted for the New Jersey promotion, said Boede creative director Ted Tsandes. “We knew that this law was being enacted, so we needed some ads that would play off the law but not be too specific about it,” he said.

The spots are based on the book, In America You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws, by Jeff Koon and Andy Powell.” The ads inform listeners, for example, “In North Carolina, bingo games may not last longer than five hours” and “In Wyoming, it is illegal to fish with a firearm.” The announcer then explains, “Not all laws are so unusual,” before explaining the state’s hands-free mandate and pitching the Plantronics headsets.