"Can you hear me now? Good." Paul Marcarelli, the Verizon Wireless icon, has made a huge move, changing his carrier to Sprint, and advertising for the competition, as well.
Sprint is using the popular face in their advertising to trumpet their "vastly improved network." They claim to be more reliable now than T-Mobile, and they are within one percent performance to that of AT&T and Verizon. Sprint received the analysis of this data from Nielsen, according to the top 106 metropolitan markets in the U.S. According to Sprint, their customers are getting much better connection experiences for less money.
"I've watched with interest as each of the wireless carriers claims to be the most reliable or the fastest," said Marcarelli. "But what I've found is...the 'better' that some other national carriers claim about reliability is really less than a 1% difference. Does anyone even really notice a difference of less than 1%? But when it comes to saving money.... Sprint is by far the best choice for consumers. You get a highly reliable network and save 50% off most of the rates other national wireless carriers charge. Now that is noticeable."
"We've made tremendous advancements in our network during the past year and Sprint's network reliability is now within 1% difference of Verizon," stated the Sprint president and CEO, Marcelo Claure. "Within 1%. We don't expect our customers would even notice such an insignificant difference. And Sprint will save customers who switch 50% on most national carrier rate plans. So Verizon customers can switch to Sprint, experience network reliability on par with Verizon and save money on their wireless service each month. Using Paul in our advertising demonstrates loud and clear that it's a new day in wireless."
The new advertising was debuted during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on ABC a couple of days ago. They will be growing to more cable and network stations across the nation, as well as in print and on the radio.
Marcarelli, the guy with the black, horn-rimmed glasses, had his contract end with Verizon in 2011, according to an article in The Atlantic. He started with the company in 2002, with a contract obligation of 20-40 spots a year in commercials, plus live events, including a half-time show of the Buffalo Bills in their 2001 season opener. Under his contract, he couldn't even talk about his job or take other acting gigs in the initial five-year contract.
If you are a fan of Marcarelli, you can follow him on Twitter @ThatWirelessGuy.
Here is the new ad, where he asks the audience, "Can you hear that?"