Verizon made a big splash at this year’s Super Bowl introducing the “Ultra” version of its 5G bandwidth.
Efforts included an ad starring Samuel L. Jackson giving a big “pep talk” on how awesome Verizon’s Ultra 5G version is. In a separate spot, Jim Carrey reprised his role as “The Cable Guy” to help promote it.
Verizon also teamed with Pepsi on a co-branded effort, “Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Ultra Pass Powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband” through which the Verizon bandwidth was used to live-stream the halftime show. There were related efforts inside SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles where the game was played, as well.
But not everybody is thrilled with Verizon’s hyping of Ultra as a mobile brand, least of all Ultra Mobile, which was founded in 2011 and offers prepaid mobile phone services operating on the T-Mobile network in the U.S.
The company has responded to Verizon’s Ultra campaign with an ad of its own, called “UltraFlattered,” which urges Verizon to find another name for its enhanced 5G network.
The ad stars Ultra employees who speak to Verizon directly. “Instead of using our name, maybe you should focus on giving customers a better price,” quips one of them. Ouch!
The ad ends with a graphic that reads, “Wait, were we supposed to be flattered?” followed by the Ultra logo.
Update: After this item was published a press rep for Ultra Mobile said the company had called an audible, deciding to "hold on putting the ad out right now."
Why, I don't know. Ultra has a trademark on the name so who knows, maybe they're considering a legal challenge. But if the company reverses course, again, and releases the ad, well, stay tuned.