Sarah The Cellular Slayer -- For A Day


UScellular, the country’s fourth largest mobile company behind AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, has enlisted actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) to promote the Global Day of Unplugging (GDOU) on March 1.

Gellar’s activities include media interviews, plus Instagram postings. A pinned post alerted followers to the day, run by the nonprofit Unplug Collaborative, in which people are requested to disconnect from their devices in favor of other activities.

UScellular tells Marketing Daily that Gellar is also publishing an Instagram story about the event this week and will follow up her own unplugging on Friday with several posts next week about her experience.

“Technology helps connect us to what matters most,” Gellar says in her pinned post, “but we can all agree that sometimes there are unintended consequences when we are overconnected. I’m looking forward to taking a much-needed break from my devices and spending some quality time with my friends and family.”



The Gellar partnership is just part of UScellular’s commitment to the unplugging cause, which began with last year’s Unplugging Day and also includes a YouTube video starring the provider’s CEO Laurent “LT” Therivel.

“The devices that we support and sell are meant to bring us closer, not further apart, and sometimes a momentary reset can help us stay focused on genuine connections,” Therivel says in the video.

UScellular also expects to donate $50,000 to Unplug Collaborative, which it says will be based on shares generated by Gellar’s postings and people who pledge to unplug at the mobile provider’s dedicated “Unplugging” page.

Backing up its GDOU participation, UScellular cites results from a fall survey commissioned from Consumer Insights, in partnership with PureSpectrum that it says “suggests that people may be re-evaluating the role of their phone in their lives.” In the study of 1,000 18- to 41-year-olds, 41% said they could use some time away from their phone and nearly a third that they want to take an intentional break from their phone.

Global Day of Unplugging is just part of an overall initiative called ‘Built For US” that UScellular launched a year ago to help users develop “healthier relationships with technology.” That campaign includes: “Phones Down for 5,” a customizable timer for taking tech downtime; “US Mode,” detailed instructions for minimizing distractions from notifications; and “Smarter Start Toolkit,” described as “a guide to establishing healthy digital habits as you introduce a new device.”

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