Even Santa Wants To Save With Alltel

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With the holiday shopping season being one of the most important times for electronics and telecommunications sales, Chad -- the long-running spokescharacter for Alltel -- returns in a holiday campaign to pitch Santa on the benefits of saving money on one’s wireless bills.

In a new television spot from agency Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., Chad squares off against a red-shirted Verizon Wireless representative, with each trying to woo Santa to their wireless network. The Verizon salesperson unloads a litany of features, such as checking one’s Facebook status, post to Twitter and access Google Maps. (He does, unfortunately, begin the pitch with the line, “Check it, Tubby.”)

After the pitch, Chad responds that Alltel offers the same features, “except you can save hundreds of dollars a year.” The spot ends with Santa throwing the Verizon Wireless salesman out of his North Pole home. 

“[The spot] is based around the simple phrase, “Switch to Alltel. Save Hundreds,” Mark Simon, chief creative officer at Campbell-Ewald, tells Marketing Daily. “The holidays are a time when people are trying to save money and that wireless sales go up. And Santa, just like everyone one else, wants to save money.”

The blond, affable Chad has been a spokescharacter for Alltel since 2005, having appeared first in commercials that had representations of competitors’ mascots before facing off against salespeople representing different brands (AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile). (A few years ago, Chad and his nemeses were stop-motion animated for a holiday spot.) 

“We try to do new things with Chad, and we try to put him in different situations,” says Scott Moody, Alltel’s vice president of marketing and advertising. “We’re trying to introduce a little bit more humor and edge to chad to keep him fresh. [But] he’s still the straight guy who’s providing value to customers and the overall embodiment.”

In this most recent commercial, Chad faces off against only one representative because Verizon is often Alltel’s main competitor in the “C and D” counties where Alltel provides most of its service, Simon says. 

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