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BellSouth Mobility last month launched an estimated $5 million to $10 million campaign for its new digital communications system, now available to consumers in the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Because 85% of the population in those markets doesn't have a mobile phone, BellSouth Mobility's advertising primarily targets non-users. Media include print, radio, TV and outdoor.

"We need to give consumers a compelling reason to get into the category," said Jim White, vice chairman-chief creative officer at Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C. "The service needs to be positioned as a necessity, not a luxury."

The product retails for about $160 plus monthly usage fees. Similar to AT&T Corp.'s Go Phone, BellSouth Mobility will sell its digital communications service on the shelf at retailers including Kmart Corp., Radio Shack and BellSouth stores.

"The more accessible our product and service, the better," said Joe DePreta, director of advertising and public relations for BellSouth Personal Communications, a sister unit of BellSouth Mobility.

The company is sponsoring 2-hour movie broadcasts on TV stations in the 10 markets reached by the ad campaign. During breaks from the movie, spots will deliver detailed product information in six 2-minute segments using a mini-talk show format.

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