T-Mobile will bring back former-spokeswoman Catherine Zeta-Jones to launch a new marketing push reminding viewers that, chances are, they are paying too much for their wireless plans. And to ensure their claims aren’t dismissed as a run-of-the-mill sales pitch, T-Mobile will encourage viewers to visit a third-party site to see just how much they could save with a “Mobile Makeover.”
“We’re so confident that T-Mobile provides the best overall experience for a majority of Americans, we’re willing to put our value to the test by pointing people to an independent source,” T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer Denny Marie Post says. T-Mobile’s “Mobile Makeover” site links to BillShrink.com, a free Web-based service that checks users’ phone and data usage against more than 10 million wireless plan combinations to find the most cost-effective option (BillShrink does the same for credit cards and gas prices).
According to BillShrink, eight of 10 wireless customers overpay for their plans, a fact upon which T-Mobile hopes to capitalize. But the initiative is a gamble. “We’re an independent company. It’s great to see one of the national carriers recognize that we’re doing something different in the marketplace,” BillShrink CEO Peter Pham told The Wall Street Journal. But, he added, “T-Mobile doesn’t come up No. 1 every time.”
The “Mobile Makeover” campaign, launching during tonight’s American Idol finale, won’t focus solely on cheaper wireless plans, but also on service and coverage. While prepaid calling plans from players like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS can undercut most contract service plans, many don’t offer the features that wireless customers want. T-Mobile hopes BillShrink’s comparison engine will show customers not just lower prices, but greater value for their dollar.
“We have not had a cohesive or a singular value message out there since we left the ‘Get More’ campaign,” Post told the Journal, referring to a series of ads that ran three years ago. In the interim, the company focused mostly on new devices (Google’s Android wireless operating system launched on T-Mobile) and its myFaves plan. Hence the return of Zeta-Jones; the actress was the face of the “Get More” campaign but was phased out in 2006. With a familiar face, a return to value, and a challenge to wireless users to seek a third-party opinion, T-Mobile is making a confident statement about its ability to gain ground on larger rivals AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. If they couldn’t hear T-Mobile before, perhaps they can hear it now.
[via The Wall Street Journal]