Like to watch tv or listen to the radio? If so, you’re probably aware of a toll-free number that gets stuck in your mind. Chances are, you’ve probably given them a call or shared the clever marketing campaigns built to get you to patronize their business.
Toll-free numbers often have their digits are set to a song with a catchy melody, a celebrity endorsement, or a visually-appealing set of digits. Because of their immense impact and attention-grabbing appeal, toll-free phone numbers take on a life of their own. In this article, we’ll take a look at some famous toll-free numbers from commercials.
1 (800) COLLECT
Remember when payphones were a thing? Well, for those who weren’t there (ahem, Millenials…), there once was a great way of using payphones to reach someone — collect calling. The recipient would be prompted by a short message identifying the caller (“Hi, Dad, I ran out of gas…”), to which they had the decision to accept charges to put the call through.
While it was a thing of the past, collect calling was easy to use, thanks to the toll-free number attached to the service: 1 (800) COLLECT. The marketers behind this number certainly earned their payday when collect calling was simple to remember. However, this toll-free number became even easier to remember, when AT&T began enabling the caller to simply dial “0” to get the process going. That’s it. Once you dialed the operator, you could place a collect call through their operator-assisted service or through its direction.
However, MCI’s marketing campaign raised 1(800) COLLECT to national prominence, featuring the likes of the one-and-only Mr. T (“I pity the fool”) being featured in a series of commercials, including the before-fame Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad).
Eventually, as payphones on every street corner were replaced with cellular communication and mobile phones in everyone’s hands, there still exists a distant memory of Mr. T telling us that we could reach our loved ones at no cost if the need arose.
1 (800) MATTRES(s)
Sometimes, the name of what the business sells is all you need to gain customers. Of course, what do you do with the last letter? You leave off the last “s” for savings!
For an ingenious Hicksville, NY mattress company, their marketing department must have had a “eureka” moment when they figured out what to do with the 8-letter dilemma. Dial-A-Mattress (the company’s original name) became the largest retailer of bedding in the United States thanks to this famous toll-free number and its series of commercials. At its peak in 2005, the company generated nearly $100 million in annual profits. Chances are when you want to get a mattress, you think of leaving off the last “s” for sleep!
1 (800) FLOWERS
Want flowers? Just tack on a “1 (800)” in front of F – L – O – W – E – R – S, and voila! Flowers at the doorstep of your loved ones. It’s hard to think of a better way of advertising flowers. Since the 1980s, 1 (800) FLOWERS has bailed out family members who forgot that special occasion and those who couldn’t be there in person to send love. Now, the company has expanded into more than just flowers, with fruit baskets and stuffed animals a part of the company’s advertising.
Now, this only scratches the surface of the most famous toll-free numbers out there, but you may be asking how you can get in on the action. How can you purchase a toll-free number to funnel willing customers into your unforgettable business?
The answer is in using a qualified service provider of toll-free numbers: United World Telecom. With over 20 years in providing telecommunications solutions for enterprise-level organizations and small businesses alike, there’s no better way to jumpstart your business than by selecting toll-free numbers from UWT. From vanity toll-free numbers to ITFS numbers (basically toll-free numbers that work internationally), you can select a toll-free number that will get stuck in the minds of generations to come!
As a TV junkie and tech writer, Tom Senkus loves to share nostalgia about the telecommunications industry. His work has been featured in 50+ publications. For more information about his list of services, visit his website at www.tomsenkuswriter.com.