The Re-Branding of America: Sprint Pre/Now Network

Pop Culture, re:brand

This ad came out a few months ago, but through it’s many manifestations is still as brilliant as ever.

I. Love. Integration. I love it like Malcolm, in my coffee; I love it like Jim Crow hated it, in American society; I love it in creative expression, like Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable; but as an eternal student with a focus on Communication and Society, I love it in ad campaigns — fully integrated campaigns with content and messaging reaching across more aisles than Ronald Reagan’s wildest nightmare — this commercial does just that.

Essentially this ad campaign brings the world into the Now Network. The commercial embodies the word “network.” There is complete message consistency, not just with the script repetition “Right now there are ___ people doing ___;” but there is the obvious visual consistency repeating single figures to make a community of people sharing common behavior. Beyond the Sprint network, the idea is that you are doing what the Now Network does; you are already in the now, so get in the Now Network — literally. There is integration of sponsors. This ad is not a Sprint ad as much as it advertises the Now way of life. Now is reliant upon Twitter, Facebook, family life and diapers, etc. Sprint knows it is not Verizon or AT&T who can advertise themselves first and foremost, knowing people will join on their brand alone. Sprint is a solid third, so they seamlessly tie in brand names like Twitter (which, sidenote, cleverly integrates the masses of people both those who do and don’t Tweet as part of the Now Network without placing priority on either — genius) in this ad, or Dunkin Donuts in another, as well as generic activities like emailing, riding cabs, flying, etc. to connect the Sprint name with these daily staples in modern society.

This ad is great because it integrates brands and behaviors to connect people with their company. It does nothing but advertise the whole way through, but it advertises a way of life — a way of life that you are already living, a chaotic way of life lived more simply and navigated through more seamlessly when lived in the Now Network — with the Pre. The commercial touts a phone company that understands that a phone is more than a phone, a phone is our social lifeline; but with this phone in this network it keeps you forever in the never-ending “Now,” but with the simplicity of life lived “Pre”-complexity — all in the Palm of your hand.

Watch this space: Thanks to Woodstock, Lords of the Revolution, and Sesame Street, the Sixties are so back — everyone aboard the integration train.

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