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21 June 2010

Ray Charles Playing High Stakes In Cyberspace (1995)

PBS has a transcript of a report titled High Stakes In Cyberspace from 1995, presented by Robert Krulwich and directed by Robert Marshall. It was a coproduction of WGBH Educational Foundation with MQN Productions for Frontline.
Actually, the sequence about Ray Charles was about the successful Pepsi campaign (from the early 90s) that used interactive voice response (IVR) to simulate a dialogue with consumers:

ROBERT KRULWICH: G.M. O'Connell is a founding member of Modem Media. His company designs advertising that the audience can talk back to. When they started eight years ago, the only interactive device widely available was the telephone. [interviewing] What is Ray Charles doing on the wall?
G.M. O'CONNELL: What we wanted to do was to convert Diet Coke drinkers to Diet Pepsi drinkers. We wanted you to call and talk to Ray Charles on the phone.
G.M. O'CONNELL: Interactive media at its best.
RAY CHARLES: Hey, you called the right one, baby. This is Ray and the girls.
G.M. O'CONNELL: What you did was, you entered in a PIN number so that we knew that you had called.
RAY CHARLES: It's easy.
G.M. O'CONNELL: What we, of course, as marketers in this situation, wanted to be able to do was to start to develop more of a relationship or to know a little bit more about those people who were Diet Coke drinkers and hopefully were becoming Diet Pepsi drinkers. So what we did was we surveyed them.
DIET PEPSI PHONE LINE: First, because you're one in a million, we'd like to know your birth date.
G.M. O'CONNELL: Ray's going to send you a birthday card to make you feel good about the product and hopefully you'll continue to_to buy the product at the store.
ROBERT KRULWICH: So you'd need the address of the person and the age and the birth date of the person.
G.M. O'CONNELL: Exactly. You actually keyed in the birth date on_on this program. You could key it in.
ROBERT KRULWICH: What else did you want to know?
DIET PEPSI PHONE LINE: We'd like to know your favorite thing to do. If you are most interested in music or reading, press one.
ROBERT KRULWICH: Five hundred thousand people called Ray Charles. But how many held on to answer all the questions?
G.M. O'CONNELL: Ninety-eight percent of the people who called_ and it was a four-minute phone call if you stayed on to the bitter end_ ninety-eight percent of them stayed on for the _for the entire phone call.
G.M. O'CONNELL: There was a reward if you stayed on.
RAY CHARLES: Thanks for helping out. Now let's find out if you won. Hey, girls, do we have a winner?
G.M. O'CONNELL: So your chances stink, to begin with. I think the grand prize was actually a home vending machine. It wasn't like we were sending you to Tahiti or you could win a new car.
ROBERT KRULWICH: Who are these people that are spending time commenting to a merchandiser about their beverage on the telephone with Ray Charles? I mean, it just really seems_
G.M. O'CONNELL: It's America.
RAY CHARLES: [singing] Now, that's the right one, baby.
UH-HUH GIRLS: [singing] Bye-bye.

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