U.S. Cellular “Monte”

Eventually, we’re going to run out of “real people” who haven’t been in a commercial. In the meantime, we’ll meet characters like Monte, the real-person star of this spot for U.S. Cellular (via Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco). Not only do we meet Monte and learn of his predilection for filming himself while eating and then posting the video on the Internet. We’re also invited to call him on his cell phone and assist him in his quest to find the best sandwich. And, lo and behold, there’s Monte’s cell number on the screen. Does this mean he’ll get so many calls that his phone bill will bankrupt him and leave him unable to buy massive, meaty sandwiches like the one we see here? No! And that’s because U.S. Cellular features free incoming calls. Granted, you may have no wish whatsoever to call Monte and discuss food with him, if only for fear you’d catch him in mid-sandwich and he’d have to talk with his mouth full. But you might like to be able to receive calls on your own cell phone without having to pay for them, particularly if they’re calls from total strangers who want to discuss sandwiches. In short, the spot has hit on an amiable, interesting-enough way of presenting a benefit that’s useful but could easily seem too dull to be memorable. Like an overstuffed sandwich, this message will stick with you. —Mark Dolliver