In 2009 we carried out a regional pilot test of 0800z. The Z-device was a massive success.
The twenty-two people who helped us with £250,000 seed-investment had taken a big risk.
So had we. We were thrilled (and relieved). However there were two setbacks:
The advertising and the Z-device were so memorable that besides genuine calls, the call-centre was plagued by children making prank calls. This was later solved with some clever technology.
The huge take-up of mobile phones coincided with Ofcom dragging its heels on changing the rules regarding 0800 numbers. Anyone with a mobile (that meant everyone) was put off calling 0800 by a message that said: "How much you are charged for this call will depend on your network provider."
The Ofcom position on mobiles meant the 0800z project was put on ice.
Now, in 2015, Ofcom has finally ruled that all 0800 calls must be free from all mobile networks.
So 0800z has come off ice and we're back in the saddle. Soon you can expect to see a new TV campaign and the establishment of a famous new UK brand.
The pilot test was designed to test the memorability of the Z-device.
We advertised only a generic insurance service. That way we knew that if anyone responded to our advertising it would be purely because of the Z-device, not in response to any other offer or proposition.
We also knew that insurance companies were generating calls at costs between £7 and £20.
So we had figures to benchmark our success if we stuck with generic insurance.
Within fourteen weeks we were generating calls for £1.80.
When we launch the real 0800z service we will use a different approach that communicates our service excellence.
Test Region: 561 TV impacts to get each call £1.80 per call
It gets inside your head