I know I’m no marketing genius. Not only do I not play one on TV, I’ve never been in the marketing business. However, I am a consumer and I’m an observer. I know what catches my attention and what just bores me. In my last “Word from Our Sponsor” entry, I talked about the GEICO gecko, which I think is the best television commercial campaign on the tube these days. Even before the gecko takeover, GEICO has been eye-catching and creative in its commercials. Part of the latest success is tying in the gecko with GEICO. Now, perhaps a lot of folks can’t help but to think GEICO when they see a small lizard. That’s success in company recognition due to advertising.
Another ad campaign I think is in the same sort of campy zany vein as the gecko — the Sprint commercials. I’m not sure why they’ve backed off the Sprint Dude in the Trench Coat. I always found those ads humorous, clever and I didn’t even have to see the Sprint Dude to connect him with their product. I know his voice and recognize it immediately. They should bring him back. I think he’s recognizable as the spokesman (so to speak) for the product and the ads are catchy. The company claims he’s on hiatus, but I think the Sprint/Nextel merger offed him. Bring him BACK!
Looking at two of their latest commercials, one just bugs me (not a good thing for Sprint) and one I’m lovin’ — I pause to pay attention each time it airs. The one that I find “eh” to “annoying” if I see it too much is the ventriloquist commercial. It was okay the first time I saw it, but I’m over and done with it. It’s most certainly not what I expect of the creative marketing folks at Sprint. It connects with the product okay, but just doesn’t snag me in at all.
The one I’m lovin’ and pause to watch? Well, the one where the two men are in the locker room each bragging about the features on the phone. One claims it’s also a theft deterrent in addition to phone, videos, etc. To prove it, he tells the other to try to steal his wallet. Then he throws the phone at him, thunking him in the head. Heh. Each time I see that commercial and the end listing the features ending in *theft deterrent, I have to smile. The only way they could improve that one is to have the trench-coated Sprint Dude appear.
As for the merge with Sprint and Nextel, you don’t want to know what I think of those darn walkie-talkie things while I’m commuting on the train to work. If I could ban a product, I would. Are people reliving their childhood adventures with those or what?
Sprint ads – love ‘em or hate ‘em or just don’t care? What say you? Should the Sprint Dude return?