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How to Stand Out in a Competitive Advertising World: A Branding Case Study

Successful brands don’t start out that way. They build themselves up on the backs of advertising campaigns, smart marketing strategies, products and relationships. Readily recognizable brands such as Apple, Microsoft, Verizon and Sprint all have clearly defined brands, messages, presence, and most importantly, brand consistency.

Even though these brands are exceptionally developed, and each has a defined market presence, every person has different opinions and perceptions of each one. Like anyone, consumers have preferences: some prefer Apple over Microsoft, or Sprint over Verizon, or brand x over brand y. Why is that? What sticks out to a consumer that influences their individual perceptions and preferences?

One answer to these questions is advertising and marketing campaigns.

But how does a well-known brand separate itself from the competition? For the answer to this question we have selected the following case study of Sprint’s new advertising campaign that was released last month.

Sprint Test Man Branding Case Study

From 2002 to 2011 Verizon ran an ad campaign starring Paul Marcarelli as the “Test Man”, with the catch line: “Can you hear me now?”

Watch the pilot Verizon ad here.

Last month Sprint released their bold new advertising campaign staring Paul Marcarelli as the Verizon Test Man. In the ad, he introduces himself boldly saying, “I used to ask if you could hear me now with Verizon. Not anymore! I’m with Sprint now.”

The ad focuses on accurate statistics. The Test Man states, “It’s 2016 and every network is great. Sprint’s reliability is now within 1% of Verizon.” Sprint utilizes a marginal statistic, in which they are technically behind Verizon in coverage, but because the difference is so small and other carriers are great, the coverage is nearly uniform across most carriers.

This brings up the question:  Why go with Verizon? The ad implies that not only has the test man switched carriers, but that “Sprint saves you 50% on most Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile rates” also.

This is a fantastic representation of proper delivery. Not only does Sprint accredit Verizon with good service, they empower the Test Man by marketing his accountability and affordability, and offer an audacious advertising strategy.

This case study illustrates Sprint’s creative advertising campaign. By building upon preexisting advertising material and consumer awareness, they repurposed a competitor’s old campaign and gave it new life.

At the end of the ad, the Test Man says, “So I switched to Sprint, and millions more have too. Can you hear that?” Sprint separates their ad campaign from the competition through effective positioning. They don’t focus on the negative or brag. They simply position their ad well. And it works.

Watch the Sprint ad here.

Looking for a way to stand out from the crowd with a competitive advertising and marketing campaign? Just contact us!




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