Over the years we’ve seen quite a few spokespeople for the different wireless carriers here in the US. We all remember Carly Foulkes, who we haven’t seen much of since T-Mobile went to their new UNcarrier model. Then there’s “Can you hear me now” guy from Verizon back in the day. There are plenty more as well, which we’ll be counting down to number one.
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10. Joan Cusack – US Cellular
Back in September 2002, regional carrier US Cellular had signed Joan Cusack to a multi-year contract. This partnership was interesting. Joan grew up in Evanston, Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago. Chicago is where US Cellular’s HQ is located. Cusack’s comedic persona also fit in well with the tone of US Cellular’s ads. Since then, US Cellular has gone to a new approach with their advertising.
9. Chad Brokaw – Alltel
In 2005, when Alltel still existed, the carrier had hired Chad Brokaw as their spokesman. He played the role of an Alltel employee named “Chad”. The ad campaign highlighted Alltel’s My Circle Calling feature, which gave their customers unlimited calling to five numbers. Chad began to fade away when Verizon acquired most of Alltel. Atlantic Tele-network, who owned the remains of Alltel decided to keep the Chad character going in 2010. But they’ve since faded from view.
8. Matt Bush – AT&T
We all remember the Rollover Minutes Kid right? Back when AT&T was Cingular, one of their biggest features was Rollover Minutes, which AT&T still has. It allowed you to rollover your unused minutes to the next month. After 12 months those minutes expired. Wonder when they’ll do it for data? Check out one of his commercials above.
7. Richard Branson – Virgin Mobile
Back in the Spring of 2012, Virgin Mobile USA tapped Sir Richard Branson, the chairman of the Virgin Group to star in a bunch of ads. The ads are actually showing a younger version of Branson, who had manic ideas about getting things done for customers faster, and revolutionizing communications. The ads were fun and cheeky but dovetail with the aggressive yet playful Virgin Mobile Brand.
6. Dan Hesse – Sprint Nextel
We all know Dan Hesse right? He became the CEO of Sprint Nextel in 2007. He was supposed to help recover the company from the disastrous tenure of Gary Forsee, the former CEO. The big thing that Hesse did in 2008 was bring Sprint’s “Simply Everything Plan”. Normally CEO’s are only deployed when the company needs repairing. And Sprint needs a lot of that. Check out on of his commercials above.
5. Catherine Zeta-Jones – T-Mobile USA
Back in 2002, T-Mobile and Catherine Zeta-Jones began working together with the USA branch of T-Mobile. Their campaign was based around the slogan “get more” and emphasized the features that the magenta carrier used to set themselves apart from the big boys. Catherine and T-Mobile ended this relationship in the fall of 2006, when T-Mobile phased her out in favor of a more “everyman” appoach in advertising. T-Mobile brought her back in 2009 when it focused on price-sensitive advertising along with a nationwide recession.
4. Luke Wilson – AT&T
Wilson was hired by AT&T in 2009 when Verizon and AT&T started their feud. The battle was that AT&T stated that Verizon’s “America’s Most Reliable 3G Network” was misleading. Verizon then slammed AT&T back with their “There’s a map for that” campaign, piggybacking off of Apple’s “There’s an app for that.” In 2009, AT&T hred Luke Wilson as basically someone to knock Verizon back a few pegs. But did it work?
3. Brian Baker – Sprint
Who remembers the trenchcoat guy for Sprint? He started doing commercials for Sprint back in 1999, advertising “the largest all-digital, all-PCS network built from the ground up.” Baker was originally only supposed to do a handful of commercials, but wound up doing commercials for many years for Sprint. He helped introduce features like voice-command dialing, taking color pictures with your phone and wireless email.
2. Carly Foulkes – T-Mobile USA
Carly was the spokeswoman for T-Mobile USA after Catherine Zeta-Jones. She became magenta’s full-time spokeswoman in 2010. Her first commercial for T-Mobile was based on T-Mobile’s myTouch 4G smartphone from HTC and also mocked AT&T’s exclusive on the iPhone. This commercial was part of a long battle between the two carriers. Carly often appeared in pink dresses, as those were T-Mobile’s colors. She helped highlight T-Mobile’s low prices and network speeds.
1. Paul Marcarelli – Verizon Wireless
Paul Marcarelli first commercial was in 2001. You may know him as the “can you hear me now? Good!” guy. Marcarelli filmed hundreds of commercials during the 2000’s for Verizon. All with the “test man” persona. He is our number one Wireless spokesman, because who do you think of when you think of carrier commercials? Paul Marcarelli, and can you hear me now?