Vanity Numbers Are Chosen by Advertisers in 64% of TV Ads

2005 Use of Toll-Free Numbers as Direct Response Mechanism in Television Advertising

Vanity Numbers Are Chosen by Advertisers as Direct-Response Tools in 64% of TV Ads That Feature Toll-Free Phone Numbers.

Effective use of toll-free numbers has produced numerous business success stories. This study examined the use and growth of toll-free phone numbers in television advertising, and demonstrates that marketers do not rely solely on the Internet to communicate with their customers. As companies expand their use from customer retention and direct mail to print and electronic advertising, toll-free phone numbers remain a prominent response mechanism for advertisers.

Key Finding 1: Toll-free Numbers are Preferred Direct Response Mechanism. Over three quarters (82%) of the phone numbers featured in television advertising are toll-free phone numbers.

Key Finding 2: 800 Prefix is Preferred Over Alternatives. Almost three quarters (74%) of toll-free phone numbers in television ads begin with the original 800 toll-free prefix, over 866, 877 or 888.

Key Finding 3: More Than Half of TV Advertisers Prefer Vanity Numbers over Numeric. Sixty-four percent (64%) of toll-free phone numbers used in television advertising are vanity toll-free phone numbers, such as 1-800-EDUCATE.


Highlights of the findings include the fact that eighty-two percent (82%) of all phone numbers featured in television commercials, both national and local, are toll-free phone numbers. The leading toll-free prefix continues to be 800 (74%), over the newer prefixes, 866, 877 and 888. Furthermore, vanity numbers are still chosen by advertisers as direct response tools in 64% of television commercials that feature toll-free phone numbers.

For the full research study report, please send your request to [email protected].

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