Sprint’s Sitcom Style Campaign About Family Plans Rings True
Sprint originally engaged F&P to develop a launch campaign for their new family plan product in November 2013. We delivered so successfully on this initial assignment that we were appointed lead agency and AOR for Sprint’s entire $700mm US advertising account.Sprint |
In late 2013, Sprint was in trouble. They had been great in the aughts, but now had an aging base. T-Mobile had emerged as an aggressive competitor right when Sprint was in the middle of rebuilding their network. With their network quality compromised, Sprint shifted their focus to offering value, trying to win over millennials and compete with T-Mobile. They designed a novel group package that allowed friends as well as family to get together and save. To sell this unique plan, and regain momentum, they needed a radical shift in brand and retail communications.
To get to Sprint’s One Story, we analyzed reams of data, interviewed multiple experts, and surveyed thousands of wireless shoppers. The net insight—that despite their importance to daily life, no wireless provider was truly relevant or tuned into their customers. With all the hundreds of million of advertising dollars focusing on price, plan and network, none of the major carriers were talking about the core benefit of having a cell phone giving them the ability to connect with the people and things they care about most. We expressed this idea in a highly original and cultural way, creating the Frobinson Framily, a diverse, eccentric group all connected by Sprint.
The "Frobinson Framily” campaign was a “retail sitcom,’ with different episodes and characters designed to build awareness and affinity for new phones and plans. Our communications strategy was to deliver our message in properties that groups enjoy together: popular family entertainment, music and sports programming in live broadcast and online video. Major OOH, radio and sponsorships with NASCAR and the NBA and a robust social content calendar rounded out the plan.
The Frobinson Framily campaign was a hit. While competitors were flat or shrinking, the campaign put Sprint back in the black after multiple quarters in the red. It supercharged advertising recall by 159 percent, even with lower media spend than our competitors. It boosted consideration by 79 percent and NPS scores rose by 13 points even as network quality declined. The brand went from being considered #4 to #1 for families. And best of all, among its core target audience of millennials, Sprint became one of America’s best loved campaigns, showing how commercial and creative success can go hand in hand with the right idea.
79% increase in #1 consideration for families
“The American family has changed. Our families today are more than our relatives, but also our friends, our neighbors—basically all the people we love.”
– Jeff Hallock, CMO, Sprint