Last month, I celebrated the fact that Sprint was killing its bizarre ad campaign with CEO Dan Hesse. Reader response to the blog was divided--some readers said they liked the ads, while others shared my joy. A Sprint spokesperson even chimed in to say that the ads "ranked among the best wireless ads in recent months for memorability."
Sprint also was good enough to send me its press release for two new TV, billboard, and Internet ad campaigns. The first, which (surprise!) features the Palm Pre (at least someone gets to touch it), revolves around Sprint's Now Network, aka the carrier's wireless broadband network. The central message appears to be the breadth of Sprint's network and the services, information and communication available on it. The campaign launched April 6.
You can see the video on YouTube and Sprint has launched a "Sprint Now widget" that gives you a taste of the campaign. On the widget is a treasure trove of random facts that will fascinate the trivia buff.
You'll find everything from Sprint-related factoids, such as how many text messages are being sent to the carrier's network, to the very non-Sprint-related, such as how many babies are being born right now. You'll also find completely useless information, such as how many people are stuck in elevators are this moment.
From the start, I found the widget utterly compelling, even if it was a little much for the eyes to take in at once. Why you need all the little people walking over the various tiles (see the widget), I don't know.
Yet, I dare to say that it could influence people to switch to Sprint. While it doesn't tell you why Sprint is better, it can get you excited about technology, communication, and the speed at which the two are conveyed. Bunker types may find it frightening, but that's a fair trade-off. You can download the widget if you wish, and I'm certain it will be available on the Pre once the phone goes on sale.
In another series of ads, which launched April 3, the emphasis is on saving money in a tight economy. According to Sprint's press release, "Sprint continues to emphasize that individuals and families can save a great deal on their wireless bills if they switch to Sprint from AT&T or Verizon." Perhaps you can't save by switching from T-Mobile.
I'll have to catch the full campaigns for my final verdict, but as long as I'm not watching Hesse walk through a black-and-white New York City (with the occasional Sprint yellow), I think it's an improvement. The San Francisco-based agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners produced both campaigns.