Sprint & The Onion release video series on Paul Marcarelli

RingPlus News Service Los Angeles, April 14th 2017:

Sprint claims ad success while T-mobile get the customers. Today, Sprint and Onion labs from the Onion released a video series on Paul Marcarelli, the famous “Can You Hear me Now?” guy from the old Verizon commercials who is now with Sprint. The series takes a satirical take on his popularity. The six part series titled, “Your World with Luther North,” is like a TV news magazine which explores Americans fascination and obsession with Paul. The video series builds off Sprint’s “most successful campaign” which features Paul. The first Sprint ad that featured Paul aired in June of last year. The ad called attention to Sprint’s improved network as well as the savings you could have at Sprint. The reaction to the ad, and the future ads as well as different ads like print and digital advertising, was unprecedented according to Sprint. This led to it being Sprint’s “most successful advertising campaign ever.”

Sprint claims it had the best campaign, but they fall short of other carriers. The way to know if a campaign was truly successful, is if it brings a return on investment and brand equity. Sprint’s ROI (return on investment) was less than T-mobile’s. Sprint’s brand equity message basically being all carriers are almost equal, we are just below the others. They reduced their prices which convinced people to change. On the other hand, T-mobile had just a simple message which was repeated, it was that they have the fastest network. Fact is that T-mobile had less coverage, similar to same pricing as Sprint, yet they gained more customers than Sprint did. Each of these two carriers brand equity could be disputed but it is clear that T-mobile has gained more success.

Before the Paul ads, Sprint was not doing a good job. Lets not forget that Sprint released a tasteless video in which a customer described another carrier as “ghetto” and their CEO, Marcelo Claure, is seen laughing at the comment. Sprint apologized for the video, but the damage was done. Companies are held accountable more today than they have in the past. A bad ad or a bad customer experience could cause major issues to a company. One example is the major mistreatment of a passenger in a United Airlines flight. This issue caused the United stock to drop $1.4 billion after video of the controversy was released. Sprint gained some traction with their Paul ads, but can they get back in the telecom race. Falling out of the top three and being surpassed by their main rival of the lot is not good for Sprint. A possible merger with T-mobile is looming, if that falls through just like the previous merger rumors, Sprint needs to find a way to get back in the top three.

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