Publicis Seattle Goes on a ‘Road Trip’ With Ariana Grande for T-Mobile

By Erik Oster 

Publicis Seattle recently launched a spot for T-Mobile promoting the network’s unlimited data plan by taking a look at what happens when you have to choose between tunes and navigation on a road trip.

“Road Trip” opens on a woman enjoying a leisurely drive, belting out “Side to Side” with Ariana Grande in the passenger seat. When she gets an alert that she’s almost reached her data limit, though, it becomes apparent that Grande is a stand-in for her music app, and that she must make a choice between tunes and navigation.

T-Mobile has been using its inclusive data plans as a selling point for a long time, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise. But personifying apps as a way of communicating a situation in which its data plans could save its users from dire situations—in this case a road trip with no music—is a clever, if not completely original, approach. It’s also one that’s flexible enough to provide plenty of opportunities to explore different scenarios, and celebrity collaborations, in the future. Another recent effort, “Nats vs. Socks” saw the brand explore a similar scenario with Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and a young fan missing the game due to data limits. Both come as considerable improvements to the similarly-minded “Love Triangle” spot with Nicki Minaj last month.

Client: T-Mobile
SVP, Brand Communications: Peter DeLuca
VP, National Advertising and Brand: Trish Cox
Director, Advertising: Ronan O’Mahon
Agency: Publicis Seattle
Chief Creative Officer: Andrew Christou
Client: T-Mobile
EVP, Executive Creative Director: Jason Lucas
SVP, Group Account Director: Adam Thomason
Director of Integrated Production: Corey Bartha
Head of Production: Adam Oliver
Creative Director: Earl Wallace IV
Creative Director: Rob Kleckner
Associate Creative Director: Kyle Cavanaugh
Senior Broadcast Producer: Wade Harpootlian
Account Supervisor: Victor Wise
Head of Business Affairs: Deb Groth
Business Affairs Manager: Maureen Doyle

Production Company: Caviar
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Executive Producer, Managing Partner: Jasper Thomlinson
Executive Producer, Managing Partner: Michael Sagol
Producer: Omar Bustos
Head of Production: Kelly Bowen

Editorial Company: Arcade
Color Company: Company 3
Animation: Timber
Mix: Eleven Sound