Joel McHale Brings His Signature Snark to T-Mobile’s Newest Ads

Comic wrote, starred in spots

Joel McHale and Vanessa Bayer are the latest comedians to team up with T-Mobile—the brand has previously worked with Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Bill Hader—and they're really excited to tell you about its new and improved Jump program. 

Introduced by Bill Hader in 2013, Jump allowed T-Mobile customers to upgrade their phones twice a year. Now, with this $15-per-month option, they'll be able to update their phones whenever they want.   

In the new spots, which McHale helped craft, the host of The Soup and star of Community uses his brand of acerbic humor to convince consumers to try out T-Mobile's new deal. 

"We think Joel is a great fit for our brand," said Andrew Sherrard, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile. "He's witty, he's smart, and he has this style about him where he can call out those things that are wrong in the world in a funny and almost clairvoyant way. We looked at him and thought this was a guy who could bring [our new campaign] to life."

There are six new spots, two slated for television and four digital ads. McHale and his team of writers worked with T-Mobile's agencies, Porter Novelli and Publicis, on them. Saturday Night Live cast member Vanessa Bayer also improvised during shooting, according to McHale. 

"T-Mobile is a very prominent and well-respected brand, and they let me do what I want to do," said McHale. "I was very involved in the creative. My writers were involved in the creative, and that's what was really cool about it. They kind of let us do the ad, and so hopefully, we made a funny, entertaining ad while communicating what the new deal is." 

The updated Jump program lets T-Mobile customers upgrade their devices anytime. "Consumers hate being stuck on 2-year-old phones," Sherrard said.

McHale said he enjoyed working on the campaign. "The agency had a concept, and usually when you hear that, you're like, 'Oh shit, that could be a real problem,'" he said. "But their concept was really good, and they let us put in jokes and determine the dialogue, and obviously we put in dialogue that would sell the product."