New ads for BT Payphones will put public in the spotlight

BT Payphones is seeking a dozen members of the public to star in new advertising aimed at boosting awareness of the phone box in an age of mobile phones.

The search for a cross-section of typical BT pay phone customers – called “Kiosk Catwalk” – involves finding 12 winners to feature on “how to use” notice boards inside 140,000 phone boxes.

Each will receive 1,000 and may star in new cinema ads. Twenty-four runners-up will receive 100 each. The initiative marks the first time BT Payphones has used members of the public instead of actors.

Claire Childe, BT Payphones’ advertising and promotions manager, says: “The faces we are looking for will not be supermodels or famous actors but a genuine cross section of society. We wanted the new campaign to be representative of our many customers and to represent the true look of Britain.”

Prospective models can enter one of the competition’s four categories – parent and toddler, the 16 to 21 age group, business people or the over-60s tactfully dubbed “silver foxes”.

Regional auditions in August will be followed by a September grand final in London and the new noticeboards will appear towards the end of the year.

Last month, “Phonesites” phone box poster advertising was launched and a year-long PR campaign, codenamed “Street”, seeks to emphasise the importance of phone boxes, particularly to the young. It involves activities such as sponsoring roller-blading competitions.

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