For the second year in a row, Sprint Corp. will air a commercial during the Super Bowl. Its offering for this Sunday naturally takes aim at its rivals.
“We’re going to apologize to AT&T and Verizon,” said Jeff Hallock, Sprint’s chief marketing officer.
The “apology,” Hallock acknowledged, plays off Sprint’s screaming “goat” ad that first aired in the fall. In it, the No. 3 carrier poked fun at its larger rivals portrayed by the goat, which was really a sheep.
Here’s a teaser spot Sprint released Thursday morning to boost interest in its Super Bowl ad.
“Were going to have a little fun with it. At the Super Bowl people look for some humor, some entertainment value and that’s what we’ve embedded in this (Super Bowl ad) as well,” Hallock said.
Sprint’s Super Bowl ad is set to air early in the third quarter of the game. Hallock said it builds on the Overland Park-based company’s campaign to win over AT&T and Verizon customers by offering to cut their wireless rate plans in half.
Viewers already have seen consumers wield weed whackers, chain saws, swords and other tools to literally cut in half their Verizon or AT&T bills, the statements they get in the mail.
The half-off promotion, which Sprint has extended into this year, saves consumers closer to 20 percent, according to Sprint’s chief financial officer, because they have to turn in an AT&T or Verizon phone and buy a Sprint phone as part of the deal.
Many Verizon and AT&T customers who come in to look at the half-off deal end up with a different Sprint plan that saves them more or fits them better, the company has said.
Companies like Super Bowl ads because they deliver the largest live audience on television. They also gain attention beyond the game’s broadcast. For example, viewers are likely to talk about ads for days after the game.
Hallock said advertisers are going for “buzzworthy” spots that extend the life of the investment.
“We’re going to have a little fun with it,” Hallock said. “At the Super Bowl, people look for some humor, some entertainment value, and that’s what we’ve embedded in this as well.”
Although Hallock wouldn’t say what Sprint spent, Bloomberg reports that 30-second spots were going for $4.5 million.
Sprint won’t be alone in Sunday’s pitch to wireless consumers. T-Mobile released its Super Bowl ad, which uses “famous person” Kim Kardashian West.
In a self-satirical spot, she laments unused wireless phone data allotments that mostly disappear but could have been used to view her makeup, backhand, outfits, vacations and (again) outfits. T-Mobile then promotes its Data Stash, which carries over unused data each month.
Sunday’s spot from Sprint was created by its new television ad agency, Deutsch LA. According to AdWeek, Deutsch LA also is behind the Super Bowl ad for Mophie, which makes portable chargers for cellphones.
Sprint hired Deutsch to succeed Figliulo & Partners, which was behind the short-lived Frobinson TV family that included a talking hamster dad and a daughter with animated bluebirds always about her head. The Frobinsons promoted Sprint’s Framily service plan that chief executive Marcelo Claure killed in one of his first decisions on the job in August.
A calmer Framily ad ran in last year’s Super Bowl, before the Frobinsons appeared. It helped get across the friends and family notion of Framily.
Then there’s this TBT Sprint offering from the 2007 Super Bowl that spins off erectile dysfunction ads to promote Sprint’s mobile broadband connection through a plug-in computer modem. To help you set your mental wayback machine, this was before the first iPhone hit the market and when one of Sprint’s rivals was called Cingular, which is now part of AT&T.
For its Super Bowl debut in 2006, Sprint spun this odd appeal to consumers — the cellphone as a crime deterrent. Note the “together with Nextel” line at the end.