VoiceStream Bows $100 Mil. Effort

LOS ANGELES — VoiceStream, the sixth-largest wireless-service provider in the U.S., is breaking an estimated $100 million campaign this week starring new spokeswoman Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The effort, from Seattle-based Publicis in the West, rebrands the company as T-Mobile. The name change follows Deutsche Telekom’s acquisition last year of VoiceStream and Powertel. The client’s tagline, “Get more from life,” remains.

Zeta-Jones, who replaces Jamie Lee Curtis, appeals to a younger audience, said client svp of brand marketing John Clelland. T-Mobile is targeting customers ages 18-34, rather than the 18-49 market pursued by VoiceStream, he said.

With Zeta-Jones, T-Mobile is using “a more overt sense of humor,” said shop co-president and ecd Bob Moore.Three 30-second TV spots break this week in California and Nevada. They will go national on Sept. 2 on network and cable TV.

Ads build on past attempts to promote VoiceStream products, but the new effort aims to show how those products change people’s lives. In each spot, the scene freezes as Zeta-Jones helps solve a problem.

A spot that touts WorldClass transatlantic service has an American tourist telling a Czech woman he can’t go with her to Venice because he has a dog at home. Zeta-Jones helps him use his phone to ask a friend in New York to watch the dog.

Two other commercials promote T-Mobile’s basic rate plan.

In one, a woman sees an Italian man in a cafe and calls a language institute to learn the translation of “Now, be a good boy and come over here and sit on mama’s lap.” Another shows a guy in line at the post office who uses his phone to listen to a movie a friend is watching. A teaser ad broke last week. Radio, print and outdoor executions are also in the mix.