Posted by: Olga Kharif on June 27, 2007
For the past year, Sprint Nextel has seen some of its highest-value customers leave — in part, analysts believe, because the company’s advertising campaign didn’t work. Its tagline, Power Up, left consumers confused. No one could be quite sure about what the tagline meant.
That’s why, earlier this year, Sprint had hired a new ad agency and began working on a new branding campaign, announced on June 27. Sprint’s new slogan: Sprint Ahead. Created by San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an accompanying ad campaign uses light to denote creativity and speed. In one 30-second TV commercial, artists use their flashlights to draw flowers bending in the wind, fish jumping out of water and smoke rising out of a houses’s chimney. With frames sped up, the waving of the flashlight turns into very cool light animation. The ad looks different and quirky.
Bill Morgan, Sprint’s senior vice president for brand and advertising, says his company wanted to do something different after watching rivals emphasize wireless networks’ shortcomings in their ads. Cingular, for instance, points out that its subscribers experience fewer dropped calls. Sprint, Morgan says, wanted to emphasize the wonders of wireless technology instead of its shortcomings. This is a return to Sprint circa 2005, when its tagline, “Yes, you can,” emphasized the service’s versatility.
I think this approach might work. The ads look different and interesting. The company’s tagline, Sprint Ahead, is easily understood. It’s much better than Power Up, for sure.