BOSTON Mullen, in its last ads for wireless company Nextel after working on the brand for nearly seven years, has fashioned a humorous TV campaign tagged "Now that's a walkie-talkie."
Three 30-second executions use over-the-top imagery and situations to drive home Nextel's newly introduced coast-to-coast, direct-connect feature as the product's distinguishing characteristic.
One ad, "Tower," uses state-of-the-art visual effects to show a fictitious 400,000-foot-high radio antenna (hyped as the tallest structure on earth) on the plains of the Midwest. It is shown being maintained by ground crews and, at its apex, space-walking astronauts. The other spots feature high-tech pigeons and "antennalopes" in a similar vein.
Is that how Nextel makes coast-to-coast walkie-talkie service a reality? Of course not, the spots go on to explain. The point is, of course, that such a feature does exist on the company's phones.
Mullen's previous ads for the client, launched as the year began, were tagged "Get right through."
"We conceived and produced this work even in the midst of the pitch, under the threatening cloud of losing the business," said Mullen chief creative Edward Boches.
Interpublic Group's Mullen, Wenham, Mass., lost creative chores on the $150 million Nextel account last month following a lengthy review process. Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, won that competition.