Joel McHale Mouths Off for T-Mobile

By Erik Oster Comment

Last week, we wrote about T-Mobile’s new campaign with Joel McHale, who not only stars in the campaign but also wrote the new spots with his team of writers, in collaboration with agencies Porter Novelli and Publicis. Since then, the brand rolled out a new ad with the Community and Soup star, entitled “Subtitles with Joel McHale.”

The ad positions McHale as the latest in a long line of reluctant celebrity pitchmen, tapping into the self-aware advertising trend. In the spot, McHale remarks that, since “no one unmutes these things” he can basically say whatever he wants. So while the subtitles politely pitch T-Mobile’s Jump! On Demand service, McHale remarks how he would never talk to the extras in real life, yells at the crew and tells viewers “Your phone is old and weird, people laugh at you whenever you use it,” while reminding them he is being payed handsomely to promote T-Mobile. While this kind of schtick may be the most overused trend of the year, the spot is a definite step up from the campaign’s bland debut, and McHale is more convincing in the reluctant pitchman role than, say, Neil Patrick Harris.

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