T-Mobile Super Bowl ad

By Tom Dougherty
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T-Mobile TV ad: Missing an opportunity

I wish I could say the publicist-driven T-Mobile not-quite Super Bowl ad deserves its social media popularity. But like all but one of this year’s Super Bowl ads, it ruined its opportunity.

The phone carrier promoted a spot with Super Bowl champions, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, saying it was banned from being aired during the big game because they were participants. That prompted a great deal of social media activity. Exactly what the brand wanted.

But why is the spot itself so lame?

 

“There are few opportunities for brands to rise above the fray. T-Mobile created one. But failed to take advantage. Be bold when those opportunities arise.”

We’ve often lamented that Super Bowl ads are a waste of money. And most are just trying to be entertainment. Not trying to create preference.

That was certainly the case this year. All but one – Amazon’s Alexa spot, which we wrote about here last week – were tiresome, boring, and easily forgettable. Hell, the largest theme was simply CBS’s unveiling of its upcoming Paramount+ streaming service.

T-Mobile simply blew it

But T-Mobile had a chance to make some real waves. Because Verizon was the official sponsor of the Super Bowl, T-Mobile couldn’t actually air its Brady-Gronk spot during the game.

T-MobileSo it created faux social media outrage, saying it was banned. Quite an ingenious way to generate publicity.

I was hoping to write that the best Super Bowl ad never actually aired. But that wasn’t the case. At all.

In fact, it was just the same tired old thing. Celebrities acting in a strained sitcom situation. With a message – that T-Mobile works better – that isn’t even believable.

If the brand was going to take such as a unique way to get noticed, why didn’t the TV spot itself take the same path? It does nothing to steal market share from the competition. It will be forgotten as soon as you finish reading this. It has a life span of a whisper.

There are few opportunities for brands to rise above the fray. T-Mobile created one. But failed to take advantage. Be bold when those opportunities arise. Otherwise, they waste everyone’s time.

See more posts in the following related categories: Advertising Super Bowl Advertising

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