Mullen Unveils Nextel Campaign

BOSTON–Actor Dennis Franz pokes fun at the advertising industry in three new 30-second spots for Nextel Communications.

In one execution, Franz yells that he doesn’t “do commercials” while arguing with his agent into a Nextel cellular phone using its Direct Connect feature, which uses a two-way radio to let callers reach people without leaving a message. “They’re dishonest. They lie. I’m supposed to peddle some product I don’t even use?”

The commercials, which will begin airing this weekend on CBS’ broadcast of National Football League games, feature no voiceovers or tagline. Prior spots closed with the line, “Bad things happen when you don’t get through.” Spending on the campaign is about $30 million; the Reston, Va., client spent about $130 million on ads in 2001, according to CMR. Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen, an Interpublic Group shop, has worked with Nextel since 1996.