Bellevue, Wash. - T-Mobile is launching the first in a new series of ads that will air over the next few months leading up to the carrier's brand relaunch in the fall.
The new ad features Carly, the carrier's current brand ambassador, who shuns her magenta polka-dot summer dress for a leather motorcycle outfit and a 1000 cc Ducati superbike. The "Alter Ego" ad symbolizes the speed of the carrier's 4G network and is a metaphor for T-Mobile's stance in challenging the status quo and taking bold steps, said Peter DeLuca, brand, advertising and communications senior VP.
The spot will broadcast on the ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CW networks on shows such as "Private Practice," "The Apprentice," "Criminal Minds" and "Vampire Diaries." The ad premieres April 17 on the CW network's "90210" and on ABC's "Private Practice."
The spot will also appear on the web across digital video destinations such as Hulu, YouTube and Break. In addition, the online video will run across the websites of NBA, ABC, FOX, CBS, Comedy Channel and MTV to capture cross-platform viewing, a spokesperson said.
"With this new campaign," the spokesperson added, "we're telling the market, loud and clear, that T-Mobile is an aggressive competitor -- that we will win and retain customers by delivering affordable, technically innovative 4G services. We'll continue to provide consumers more choice and flexibility in the way they purchase wireless, and we'll compete aggressively to win and retain customers as a challenger brand in the market."
The first ad will coincide with the launch of T-Mobile's Test Drive site, which lets consumers compare T-Mobile's 4G speeds to other carriers' speeds.
Last month, after T-Mobile and AT&T cancelled their planned merger because of federal government opposition, T-Mobile announced plans to improve its network and reinvigorate its sales and marketing efforts could help reverse subscriber losses. The carrier said that it would put to good use the AWS-band spectrum and $3 billion in cash that AT&T is handing over as a breakup fee.
With the additional money, T-Mobile said it would ramp up advertising spending, more aggressively pursue MVNO partners, continue to remodel its retail stores, expand distribution and improve network performance.
The efforts are part of what T-Mobile called a "reinvigorated challenger strategy focused on making amazing 4G services affordable."
As part of the network transformation, the fourth-ranked carrier by subscribers plans to install new equipment at 37,000 cell sites, add 4G LTE in 2013 to the AWS band in which it currently offers 4G HSPA+ service, and make room for LTE in the AWS band by deploying 4G HSPA+ technology in the 1900MHz band, where it currently offers 2G service.
The network upgrade will cost $4 billion over two years, and T-Mobile will put $1.4 billion of the $3 billion it is getting from AT&T toward that effort.
Despite the LTE upgrade, T-Mobile has only enough spectrum to deploy LTE in what it said would be "the vast majority" of the top 50 markets.