Team One Picks Up Boost Mobile

Team One has landed ad duties for Boost Mobile, a Nextel Communications company whose plans include offering pay-as-you-go mobile service to teens and young adults.

Boost, which is 66 percent owned by Nextel, hired the El Segundo, Calif., shop following a review that included at least two other shops. Sources estimated billings at $10-20 million.

“The chance to work on a youth brand in this category is something we’ve been trying to do for a while,” said Team One management director Richard Turner. “Boost has a very promising proposition, and I think we can help them become a huge national player in the next two to three years.”

The client, which targets consumers ages 15-24, has North American headquarters in Irvine, Calif., and operations in Australia and New Zealand. Its offerings include pre-paid airtime cards, mobile accessories and pay-as-you-go mobile service on phones that have gaming applications and varying ring tones. Plans call for the products to be sold in surf and skate shops, Nextel stores and home electronics retailers such as Best Buy, among other places.

Team One is handling creative, promotions and media planning and buying for Boost. Initial work is expected to include TV, radio, print and outdoor ads breaking Sept. 16 in California and Nevada test markets. A national rollout is planned for early 2003.

Ads take a “funny, irreverent tone” and use the tagline, “Phones just got fun,” said client media director Mark Fewell. Two TV spots show elderly people engaged in youthful activities such as skateboarding and attending a rave, he said.

Ads will not feature a spokesperson and will not mention Nextel, Turner said. “It’s very positive in terms of how well the network works and the phones work, but kids don’t see Nextel as being for them,” he said.

Boost’s main competitor is Virgin Mobile, which launched a pay-as-you-go wireless service in the U.S. in July. Other rivals include T-Mobile, Cingular, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless. “In this category, there’s so much money being spent and so much noise, trying to stand apart is the biggest challenge,” Turner said.

The copywriter on the upcoming campaign was John Maxham. The art director was Frank Beneduci.

Team One also works with such clients as Lexus (corporate and dealers), Infonet and the Partnership for a Drug Free America.