As one of the stars of one of the most-binged programs around, “Breaking Bad,” Aaron Paul has a lot to answer for when it comes to people streaming video too often and running up huge data charges.
Well, T-Mobile is bringing him forward. In a new campaign touting the company’s latest “Binge On” plan, which enables T-Mobile customers to stream video from certain services without incurring data charges, Paul appears as the head of a binge watchers support group (echoing the series’ storyline where Paul’s character attended a drug addiction support group).
“It’s really about the way people use their phones,” Andrew Christou, CCO of Publicis Seattle, which created the campaign tells Marketing Daily. “This is an amazingly disruptive thing.”
In the commercials, Paul runs a group where people unload their problems with mobile streaming and how it has cost them. “I couldn’t stop streaming,” says one woman. “I didn’t want to think about the overages.” Once Paul assures the group that with T-Mobile’s new plan they’ll have no overages, the attendees have more confidence. “So it’s okay I binged an entire series during my daughters piano recital?” says one. “I’m binging right now,” says another. By the time the second spot runs, the group has given up its original purpose, and has instead become a place for people to catch up on their streaming without consequence.
“That was pretty much the irony of it all,” Christou says. “The foundation of the idea is like serving drinks at an AA meeting.”
Though the premise puts T-Mobile in a role as a kind of enabler, giving people what they want, even if it’s bad for them, Christou says the idea is meant to be taken with a sense of humor, pointing out the streaming is not a problem when people use the T-Mobile network.
“We consider these phones as the most incredible devices of our times. It’s not enabling as much as it is allowing people to get the most out of their products,” he says. “I don’t see how it’s enabling as much as it demonstrating [T-Mobile] being extremely generous.”
The campaign will also include TV, outdoor digital and social media executions as well.