Grey Leads Sprint Repositioning

Grey Advertising is launching a business-to- business campaign for Sprint that is the first step in a complete repositioning of the brand. The client’s other roster shops are expected to take up the strategy.
Grey’s campaign, which breaks April 19, is tagged, “Sprint. The point of contact,” and includes TV, print, radio and interactive efforts. It was developed by senior creative director Dave Tutin, who recently joined the New York shop from McCann-Erickson, San Francisco, where he worked on AT&T Wireless.
“This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” said Mark Bauman, director of Sprint’s brand investment group. “We want this effort to help us achieve our goal of becoming ‘One Sprint’–which is our war cry these days.”
Bauman admitted Sprint’s current tack of using multiple messages–not only from Grey, but from Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco (Sprint PCS); and McCann-Erickson, New York, (consumer long distance)–is confusing.
“We want to respect consumers’ intelligence, and not treat them as people confused by telecommunications,” said Bauman. “We hope they will see Sprint as a proactive ally that’s hip and innovative, but still approachable and friendly.”
Grey, at the request of Sprint executives, recently presented the new strategy to McCann, he said, but no presentation has been made to Riney.
Bauman did not say if Sprint plans to drop McCann’s “Sprint ahead” tag for the Westwood, Kansas, client’s long distance services, launched last fall. Instead, Grey’s tag will most likely appear as an element of other Sprint work, he said. McCann executives could not be reached for comment. –with Hank Kim