T-Mobile Advertising Take Over – April 11th

It started with a one email and then a phone call and then a few more emails… Radio stations across the country were contacting us about spots that were going to be bumped on Thursday April 11th due to a T-Mobile national take over buy.  It included Hispanic and general market stations, and we found out only the day before.

Yesterday, T-Mobile took over radio stations in South Florida, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Orlando, Dallas, New York City, Portland and more. On 96.5 in South Florida, they ran the following message: “The Next hour of music is sponsored by T-Mobile” and every ad prior to that used the message, “Simple choice, simple choice and more simple choice.” There was a rumor that they would take over primetime television from 8:34-8:40 last night, so I watched intently for the take over and only happened upon one T-Mobile spot during that time period that I saw.  I did get served up the video on YouTube each time I tested that yesterday, so it was obviously they were also taking over social media outlets too.

Today, April 12th, is the launch for T-Mobile’s I-Phone 5.  The phone launch parallels with a strategy to “change the game” on wireless plans.  Using the tagline, “Now your choice is simple,” T-Mobile is hoping to gain market share through plans that have no annual contracts, are unlimited, and allow you to change out your phone when you want.

Here is a link to the President and CEO of T-Mobile explaining the new plans:

This strategy made me ponder the complexity that goes into a “takeover” type campaign.  How do you monopolize people’s attention in one day when they are consuming and using so many different devices, moving at a mile a minute?  Is one day enough time to create that connection in our minds between the commercial-free radio I heard in my car, to the YouTube ad playing on my computer screen?  I went to the T-Mobile Facebook page this morning to see how they were using social media to keep the conversation going and there was no mention.

So, I compiled a list of things to consider when implementing a one-day take over advertising strategy:

  • Leak the plan ahead of time so that people will anticipate it and Search for more information in advance
  • Have a main hub to drive conversation about the advertising that day
  • Use search and e-marketing strategies to boost your message
  • Use point-of-purchase signage to capture on site traffic that day and weeks following the campaign
  • Have a simple creative strategy that easily links the messages no matter what medium
  • Engage consumers by telling them what this day means for them – (define your WIFM) – what’s in it for me.
  •  Use social media to keep the campaign alive after the day is over

We’ll see if their new strategy worked for T-Mobile soon!


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