Sprint Hires New Pitchman To 'Power Up'

Sprint has launched a new series of television ads featuring a spokesman they hope audiences will find to be a "straightforward, relatable guy"--actor Ron Livingston*. If his name doesn't ring a bell, that's good, says the company. "This isn't about turning Ron Livingston into the face of Sprint."

What the campaign, created by TBWAChiatDay New York, intends to do is build on Sprint's new "Power Up" brand positioning, which seeks to differentiate the wireless carrier from its competitors by stressing the capabilities of its network.

"We wanted to create a series of straightforward spots starring an actor known for being smart, clever and accessible--someone familiar, yet not a celebrity who would take focus away from our messaging," said Mike Goff, VP of national advertising for Sprint.

Livingston, who currently appears in the FOX TV show "Standoff," also has appeared in "Sex and the City" and 1990s movies popular with twenty-something tech savvy males, like "Swingers" and "Office Space." He will be featured in some of the campaign's TV ads, but none of the print.



The print ads, which are laid out on a background of the company's signature bright yellow, plainly state in black type that "No one has a more powerful network," and list some of Sprint's features, such as its mobile broadband network and its unlimited calling plan that begins at 7 PM. Some print ads take direct shots at the competition, saying in one: "Sprint's mobile broadband works in places where Cingular's can't raise a single bar."

* The spelling of this name was changed after the story was posted.

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