New Sprint ads feature ‘Framily’ and Andrew Dice Clay as a talking hamster

03/24/2014 5:35 PM

03/24/2014 11:32 PM

A talking hamster helps kick off a new Sprint Corp. marketing campaign during prime time Monday evening. The ads promote its new “Framily” service plan.

Framily plans provide larger price discounts as more individuals join the same Framily, which is a mixture of the words friends and family. The bills are separate, allowing essentially any group of up to 10 to combine for the discounts.

The ads — set to run on network and cable television — feature the Frobinson Framily, which Sprint called “a strange mix of individuals that care very deeply about each other.”

Here’s how Sprint describes members of the Frobinson Framily.

“Dad is a talking hamster,” Sprint’s announcement said, and it means a hamster. The animal is seen talking from inside a clear plastic ball – the kind hamsters play in – and the voice is that of Andrew Dice Clay.

Inspiration for the furry friend, or family, came from a long-running advertising campaign by Sprint’s new parent company SoftBank Corp., which is the third largest wireless carrier in Japan. SoftBank’s ads feature a talking dog as head of household, said Tracy Palmer, Sprint’s director of the Sprint brand and advertising.

Palmer said the animal became a hamster in a plastic ball as the creative team here thought of “mobile” animals.

The Frobinson mom “is the voice of reason” and two children live in the home — Zack who is into video games, scrapbooking and ventriloquism and Heidi, who only speaks French and has animated bluebirds flying around her head.

One ad, in which Heidi sings in French, introduces Chuck, who is in college, and Gor-Don, his Goth roommate and member of the Framily, Grandpa, whom Sprint called “a man of the world who is full of experience and knowledge” but is not fond of his son-in-law, and Aunt Tia, an “avant-garde artist who brings her Latin roots to life through her expressive work.”

The ads end with Sprint’s new tagline “Happy Connecting,” which is a reference to is widening new wireless network.