Riney’s Sounds of Music Speak for Sprint

NEW YORK “Business is beautiful,” according to a Publicis & Hal Riney TV spot and print ad for Sprint that breaks today.

“Anthem,” in 60- and 30-second versions, features a 12-piece multi-ethnic band playing varied musical styles in an office building while people in various business settings, using Sprint services in different ways, sing along. “We’re totally connected wirelessly,” one woman sings. There is no tagline, but the theme, “Business is beautiful,” appears at the beginning of the ad.

The spot, directed by Brian Beletic of Smuggler, was created to emphasize a “positioning strategy that spoke for all of Sprint business, not just wireless business” for which the company is best known, said Lori Joseph, group manager of advertising and message for Sprint in Overland Park, Kan.

“We went through a lot of ideas. I would say we just kind of landed on this one because it seemed to fly in the face of business advertising convention,” said Jae Goodman, senior vice president, group creative director at Riney. “Business in general can be jaded. We wanted to have an optimistic outlook.”

Ben Mor, a director at Smuggler who also creates commercial music, wrote the song, which combines elements of funk and ’60s and ’70s pop. “It was really important to us that it sound like a legitimate song and not be the ‘Business is Beautiful’ jingle,” Goodman, a copywriter, said.

Previous Sprint business ads “fall into a little more traditional b-to-b convention,” said Goodman. One showed executives with their faces pressed against a conference room table talking about network security. When the camera panned up, it became clear they were being robbed. The tagline, “One sprint, many solutions,” does not appear in the current campaign. Future spots will feature customer testimonials.

A companion print ad features a brightly colored painting of people sitting at computers. “With Sprint, business is beautiful,” the copy proclaims.

Kirk Souder, the San Francisco shop’s president, served as executive creative director on the campaign. Lee Einhorn, vice president, associate creative director, was the art director.

Campaign spending was not disclosed. Sprint spent about $790 million on advertising in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.