Sprint, “Dictionary”

Sprint wants you to know that it—unlike its competitors—grasps the full meaning of the word “unlimited.” So Goodby, Silverstein & Partners cut this “Dictionary” spot for its “Simply Everything” plan. The ad features Dan Hesse, the mobile provider’s CEO, explaining what the definition of the word is not: “metering, overage or throttling, which is code for slowing you down.” Despite zipping through some nuanced technical jargon, the overall arc and tenor of the spot succeed in delivering a pretty clear message about simplicity and possibility.
Sprint has used Hesse as the centerpiece of previous commercials, but this one has more teeth, aiming to bite into rivals market share by drawing a sharp contrast with plans that limit data usage. At the same time, the format—company executive pitching his goods while beaming at the camera—is an intrinsically dull one, a shortcoming pushed into relief by the fact that it comes from an agency with such an outstanding creative legacy. In this case, the ad also runs the risk of coming across as a bit pedantic. Consumers are well aware of the difference between “limited” and “unlimited.” Cell providers have historically struggled more with that distinction. —Gabriel Beltrone