Nextel Launches Phone Message Campaign

Wireless service provider Nextel Communications has launched an estimated $30 million TV and print campaign to address frustration from phone customers who don’t get their messages in a timely fashion, according to Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen, which is spearheading the effort.

In a TV spot that broke on Sept. 29 called “Lacquered Table,” an exec hosting a meeting checks his voice mail, which relays a message that the table’s been lacquered and shouldn’t be used. The warning came too late, though: Everyone’s arms are now sticking to the table.

“We found that’s a universal frustration, when you can’t get through to someone,” said Jim Hartrich, svp/group account for Mullen. Barbara Chandler, vp/account director, said two more TV spots along the same theme are set to break over the next month or so.

Print, also via Mullen, showcases the solution, Nextel Direct Connect, a built-in two-way radio with a range of hundreds of miles. The first of four executions broke Tuesday in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.