Moving Telstra payphones for fun and profit

A few things have been happening to the payphones in the Melbourne CBD. The first is a change to their colours: from the standard Telstra corporate orange to their new ‘Life in Full Colour‘ branding.

Multicoloured Telstra payphones

The second is realigning them so that the advertising panels are more visible to passing traffic. Before – a pair of payphones located at a 90 degrees angle to Collins Street (near Queen Street):

Telstra payphones before being moved to optimise adverting exposure

After – facing the same way as oncoming traffic.

Telstra payphones after being moved to optimise adverting exposure

For the past decade Telstra have had to deal with a massive decline in payphone usage around Australia, and have now turned to outdoor advertising to make up the shortfall, as this 2007 article from The Age writes:

Adverts to save phone booths
March 22, 2007

Superman’s preferred changeroom, the humble payphone booth, is becoming increasingly scarce, with many being removed due to low use or vandalism. But Telstra says it may have come up with an innovative way of saving them.

The telco has announced 2,000 specially designed payphone cabinets would be available Australia-wide to carry advertising, in a bid to boost revenue. Telstra consumer channels and marketing payphones director Sean Pyper said payphone use was declining due to the increased use of mobile phones.

Mr Pyper said trials had resulted in advertiser recall rates greater than 80 per cent, which was “quite outstanding”. He said growth in outdoor furniture advertising was about 10 per cent a year.

Telstra’s new payphones, to be managed by AdBooth Pty Ltd, will feature full-length enclosed panels on the rear of the cabinets.

Mr Pyper said they would be in high-traffic, high-profile locations across the capital cities and several regional centres, including Wollongong, Newcastle, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

I wonder what other ways Telstra will come up with to fit more advertising in the streets?

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7 Responses to “Moving Telstra payphones for fun and profit”

  1. Daniel15 says:

    Interesting that they’re spending money on rebranding payphones even though the income from payphones is declining.

    • Marcus says:

      Maybe someone in the payphone department worked out they could weasel money out of the marketing guys for the rebranding – treat it as an advertising pillar with a payphone attached!

  2. mich says:

    They have obstructed the footpath pretty comprehensivly in that third photo, and created a hazard where people will step off the kerb to get around it and get hit by a bus.

    • jezza says:

      What are you talking about? They’re not any closer to the curb than they used to be. They also don’t encroach onto the footpath anymore than the bus stop or newsstand.

      • Marcus says:

        The relocated payphones mightn’t obstruct the footpath any more than the rest of the street furniture, but at least the other items add value to pedestrians. The only people to benefit from moving the payphones is the Telstra bottom line.

  3. Andrew says:

    Interesting that they even bother to keep payphones. People used to howl if a public phone was removed. I have not heard such a protest for years. I think payphones are now only used to top up mobile phone accounts.

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