As Sprint Nextel's press release notes, its latest spot (which drops CEO Dan Hesse and introduces a new tagline: "All. Together. Now.") which breaks tonight on primetime TV, riffs on its long-running 'Now Network' positioning."
While "that promoted the idea Sprint customers can get what they want, when they want while on the Sprint network (this) evolved positioning takes the Now Network concept a step further by celebrating the growing importance of what people are doing with their mobile devices – talking, texting, emailing, posting videos, tweeting and updating their Facebook pages – and encourages even more fun, uplifting social interaction with one another."
That's all well and good, but one rather unsettling aspect to the campaign is that it features the real email address and phone number for Veatrice Henson, a socially savvy almost-centenarian.
The wireless carrier is urging the public to contact the feisty Henson and her a happy 100th (her birthday is on April 29th) on its All Together Now landing page and in the video above.
The brand's marketers (or agency) vows to help respond to the messages — or at least, "many" of the messages she receives — as a result of this spot. As of this writing, she has received 1,562 voicemail messages, 2,380 text messages and 871 email messages:
The copy — “Let’s wish Veatrice a happy 100th, again and again” — also includes the phrase, “If you’re truly unlimited, you can text, email and call all you want.”
Links to additional video and other “Random Acts of TogethernessTM” (has Sprint really trademarked that phrase?) are also featured on the site, along with "other unique items" (read: Sprint's hoped-for viral memes) for people to share such as a photo of a “sad potato” (see below) or a “slo-mo chipmunk.”
The unlimited message is carried in a print ad that features the HTC EVO ShiftTM 4G and the headline, “Get true unlimited text, Web and calling. No overages, no metering, no worries.”
“This campaign is socially driven by its nature,” Sprint CMO Bill Morgan says. “We want people to participate through some of the more traditional vehicles like text and voice, but we also developed a piece on Facebook where people can join together to participate in the campaign as well if that’s a better fit for them.”
What do you think? Does the campaign promote ageless values, and if Veatrice is up for it, more power to her and Sprint? Or does the breach of Veatrice's privacy make you feel like the sad potato on its Facebook page?