T-Mobile Creates Ticked-Off Parents to Sell Global Travelers

It’s bill-shocked Mom and Dad versus globetrotting son Jeremy in T-Mobile USA’s smart, new, integrated marketing campaign.

The message comes across loud and clear, but there’s some doubt whether T-Mobile can deliver a positive customer experience.

Photo: T-Mobile website.

Photo: T-Mobile website.

The wireless provider is touting its plan that saves users on international data service charges:

“With the Simple Choice Plan, each line comes with unlimited talk, text, and data while on our home network—and starting October 20, unlimited data and text in over 100 countries at no extra charge.”

The marketing campaign includes television advertising, a dedicated website, social media interaction, a contest to win a trip around the world, and airport communications.   There is also a companion effort in Spanish.

Photo: T-Mobile YouTube.

Photo: T-Mobile YouTube.

What stands out, though, are the TV ads.  

Give T-Mobile and its creative partners credit for coming up with an advertising idea that both gets attention and communicates the service benefit.  There’s no “did you see that great ad, but I don’t know the company” here.

Peter DeLuca, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of brand and advertising, told FierceWireless:

“I think there’s one thing that the campaign does extremely well.  It demonstrates in a highly creative way the customer pain point.”

I agree.

There are at least three spots so far.

Business Goals

The primary target is global business travelers.  Yet, at least to some extent, T-Mobile also wants to supply consumers visiting overseas.  It’s not clear if the source of business objective is to gain competitive switchers or to generate expanded usage from existing users.

Regardless, there is concern whether T-Mobile can deliver on a satisfying customer experience.  That’s because of the relatively slow 2G network data speed, which will annoy business users and consumers like Jeremy real fast.  T-Mobile points out that it offers various speed boost options – at an added charge, of course.


T-Mobile USA launched a smart, attention-getting marketing campaign to highlight its cost saving international data usage plan.  Can the actual customer experience live up to the hype?

Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success.

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