What’s in it for the brands?
Collecting user-generated content or first-party data could be reasons to use hotlines, but some brands aren’t crossing that line with consumers just yet.
On Oatly’s hotline, they could scream into the void at the end, “or use that space for whatever they want,” Turco said. The brand could have recorded that, he said, but “it would have been difficult for us to get the clearances to use any of that content after the fact.”
And it might have acted as a deterrent—as it would have forced the brand to reach back out to those people and get their permission, Turco said.
“We didn't want to hinder people from participating in any way,” he said. “People are a little bit suspicious when you tell them that you’re going to be using the recording.”
Alcohol brand Twisted Tea, which also recently ran a campaign with a hotline, doesn’t currently have plans to do anything with the more than 100 voicemails received from more than 400 national callers, according to Erica Taylor, director of marketing.
The campaign urged people to call the “Twistmas Holiday Hotline” to get advice on how to make the holidays more fun during the two weeks leading up to Dec. 25.
While Taylor said there aren’t plans for those voicemails “yet,” she added that collecting them wasn’t why Twisted Tea ran the campaign. However, the brand “could think about how we use voicemails in the future,” Taylor said.
Twisted Tea also confirmed that collecting first-party data (such as cell phone numbers) “was not the goal,” and that the brand doesn’t have “any plans to utilize any data.”
State Farm collected first-party data from those who went to its website to order the CD, but said “the hotline was more of a talk-worthy extension of the campaign designed to drive awareness of the program in a way that’s authentic to how CDs were promoted.”