Thursday, January 10, 2013

Who, What, and Why, T-Mobile?

Happy New Year, y’all.

Personally speaking, 2012 was one of the best years I’ve come across in a while; leaving some big shoes for 2013 to fill. The arrival of January always puts me in a bit of a funk – how is it only the 10th?! I swear this year is off to an especially slow start. It’s been like trudging through thick, ankle-deep mud.

It goes without saying that I’ve been a bit uninspired as of late. In the world of Marketing and Advertising, nothing has really caught my attention.

And so I’ll pick on T-Mobile’s domestic strategy.

It's been bothering me for at least 6 months. I just don’t get it.

How did we go from this…

…to this?
And more importantly why?

The old ads were kitschy and cute; T-Mobile was the anti-establishment of mobile phone companies. Bright, fun, and non-threatening – if you were sick of dealing with the big guys T-Mobile was for you!

Speaking chronologically, I know it happened shortly after the merger with AT&T fell apart.

Maybe marketing at T-Mobile went on auto-pilot during the review process (I mean, you can’t rally against the big guys if you’ll soon be part of them, now can you?).

But speaking strategically!?

When AT&T-Mobile was found out not to be, T went back to the drawing board and kicked campaigning into high gear (literally).
This commercial is perhaps the worst of them all. That chant will get in your head and grate on your soul, I promise.

What’s the point of touting 4-G coverage when you can’t claim superiority over the competition?

"Largest." Do they just assume consumers naïve enough to ignore Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint’s take on 4-G? The new campaigns feel as though T-Mobile is the damaged ex-girlfriend, hell bent on showing the world she’s better off alone. She’s stronger, faster and out for mobile domination.

But how can you be out for blood when you’ve the least robust coverage and worst line up of smart phones? (STILL T-Mobile’s retail shelves sit hungry for iPhone).

Is the new attitude supposed to resonate with men?

Each commercial does feel like an animated spread for some G-rated version of Maxim magazine. But what macho guy wants to be caught walking into a store dripping in that hot, magenta pink?

Is the new attitude supposed to resonate with women?

Trading her simple pink dresses for black leather cat suits, something tells me our favorite T-Mobile heroine isn’t motivating any more of her lady brethren with motorcycle racing and dark alley strut-abouts.

Will someone clear the fog for me?

Who is T-Mobile trying to attract?
What is T-Mobile selling?
And Why is it a smart business move?

BONUS: In doing my (minimal) research, I re-discovered this gem from December 2011. It might just be my obsession with Christmas cheer, but THIS is the T-Mobile I loved. It just felt more genuine:

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