15 November, 1996
BT’s ’it’s good to talk’ campaign this week won the Grand Prix at the
prestigious Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s Effectiveness
According to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, BT’s agency on the account, the
campaign generated additional income of pounds 297 million - a return on
adspend of almost six to one.
The TV campaign, which was launched in 1994 and starred Bob Hoskins, was
designed to overcome what BT believed were underlying negative attitudes
to using the telephone.
The ads encouraged men to be less reticent and abrupt in their phone
manner and to behave less like the ’gate-keepers’ of the phone, and
women to feel less guilty about chatting.
The ads showed the social value of phone interaction. A parallel
campaign, using posters and press, was designed to counter perceptions
of the high price of calls by comparing BT call charges to the price of
As the campaign became established, the phrase ’it’s good to talk’
established itself in the national lexicon.
The judges’ citation of the paper - which was written by a senior AMV
planner, Max Burt - and used econometric modelling techniques, noted:
’This was an exemplary paper. It offered an excellent exposition of a
bold and innovative strategy. The advertising tackled (negative)
attitudes head on, and had a highly beneficial impact on attitude and