Kansas Citians will recognize more than the former Verizon guy in Sprint’s new television ads. That’s Union Station in the background.
“We’re shooting this commercial right here in Kansas City in one of the most spectacular buildings I’ve ever seen,” said Paul Marcarelli.
Sprint filmed the commercial in a holiday setting at Union Station on Tuesday evening. In the spot, Marcarelli repeats his mobile-carrier conversion story and then promotes Sprint’s “crazy deal on their unlimited plan with the third, fourth and fifth lines for free.”
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Buying that much unlimited text, data and talk from AT&T would cost $200 a month, he claims in the commercial, adding that Verizon doesn’t have an unlimited data plan.
“Can you hear that?” Marcarelli asks in the ad.
On Wednesday this week, Marcarelli and the film crew visited students at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan. This mission wasn’t to sell mobile phones and tablets but to help give them away as part of Sprint’s 1 Million Project.
Sprint launched the 1 Million Project to connect students who have no Internet access at home so they can do online homework assignments. The company’s campaign says 5 million households with students fall into this “homework gap.”
“Sometimes in our bubbles of privilege we don’t realize that,” Marcarelli said. “More and more, teachers are assigning homework that requires students to be online, so it leaves millions of kids behind in school and in life.”
Sprint’s Union Station ads start Friday in national broadcast and cable spots, as well as in movie theaters and online.
They’re not the company’s first ads with a Kansas City backdrop. Loose Park was the setting for Marcarelli’s park-bench chat with a “yoga mom” about Verizon’s purported concerns over Sprint’s successes.
Years ago, CEO Dan Hesse appeared in Sprint ads including one that was filmed in the starkly white interior of the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. His message then seems familiar now.
AT&T and Verizon offered unlimited plans that included only phone calls, the commercial said.
“With Sprint, for the same price, you get unlimited text, unlimited web and unlimited calling to every mobile phone in America. Now, that’s more like it,” Hesse said in the ad.