The Biggest Advertisers in Super Bowl LI are Budweiser and Who?!

John Legere
President and Chief Executive Officer
I love this time of year. Love it. Not only do we get to watch the best teams in football battle it out, but T-Mobile gets to take the gloves off and throw down against some of the BEST ads of the year during the TV timeouts. It’s the time of year when we stand on the biggest stage and make damn sure EVERYONE knows what the Un-carrier stands for. And, that is always huge fun.
 
Look, when you are being outspent 2:1 by Dumb and Dumber, when the other guys are spending literally billions more on advertising, how do you think we compete with their fat walletsand keep on winning?  How is it possible that T-Mobile’s been the fastest growing wireless company in America for close to four years now? How do we keep running circles around the big boys?
 
Here’s how.
 
Own the BIG moments.
We don’t have the bottomless pockets of a Verizon or AT&T, so we’ve gotta be a helluva lot smarter and more disciplined. We choose exactly where and when to make maximum impact – in the moments when we get the most bang for our buck – and then we go so BIG that we own those moments.
 
And this year, we are OWNING it.  We’re going bigger than ever in the Big Game with a full 3 minutes of amazing, hilarious, provocative content.  That makes us one of this year’s biggest advertisers—right alongside Budweiser.
 
And we’re doing that for a reason. US wireless is at an epic turning point as we end the biggest pain point of all for customers—the data bucket—and free customers from plans that tack on added taxes and extra monthly fees.  NOW is the time to force this industry to change FOR GOOD.  NOW is the time to GO BIG!
 
Team up with fellow disruptors.
We don’t pin our season—much less the Big Game—on a single star, celeb or spokesperson like the other guys. We take the team approach and recruit a roster of talent who fit our bold, disruptive style of play. We join forces with game changers who go big themselves, get noticed and get people talking.
 
We’ve worked with Shakira, Drake, Kim Kardashian, Steve Harvey, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Richard Sherman, Bryce Harper and others—all larger-than-life personalities who can bring the Un-carrier brand to life AND help us connect with their legions of loyal fans.  When you’re taking on a couple corporate Goliaths like AT&T and Verizon, these are the guys you want on your side.
 
And while each of these talented people bring their own magic, every ad we’re putting out there during the game comes down to one simple, central theme—we’re all in on unlimited. In its own way, every spot tells that story. Three different commercials. Six different personalities. One powerful message.
 
Let great content lead.
Here’s a little secret—we didn’t start out with 3 minutes in the game.  But then we saw the rough cuts, it was just too good, too damn funny to keep to ourselves. We had to get more time to share it with all of you. We let the content guide us. The result is awesome.
 
  • Last Thursday, we debuted #UnlimitedMoves, featuring Justin Bieber, Rob Gronkowski and Terrell Owens, on the TODAY Show. Since then, it’s been sitting firmly in YouTube’s top trending rankings. As of this morning, it’s already been watched more than 12 million times on just YouTube and Instagram —before the game even starts!
  • On Friday, we confirmed we have another spot that features America’s favorite odd couple Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. These two have made a name for themselves in not just what they say but how they say it. And now, we’re ready to show that ad to the world. In a spot we call, #BagOfUnlimited, they make the case—as only Martha and Snoop can—for sanity, simplicity and the pure pleasure of getting what you want without limits.
  • And we have one more special surprise in our playbook that no one will see coming — and #TheSafeWordisUnlimited! The hilarious Kristen Schaal takes on the pain of wireless in a spot called #Punished. We originally planned on just one 30 second ad with Kristen. But when we saw the extra cuts she did about the pain of limits, we KNEW we had to make it into a spot for the game. Keep an eye out for an extra 60 seconds with Kristen during the game. It was almost too hot for TV!
  • And last, but definitely not least, MetroPCS is getting in on the fun! We’ll be airing a MetroPCS spot post-game to bring it all home!
 
Told ya we go big.
 
Go the extra mile.
We never go into a big moment like this with “just” an ad. We think bigger than that. The ad is just one part. For the Un-carrier, it’s also about building excitement beforehand. It’s about talking with fans in the moment. And it’s about all the fun that follows.
 
And, it’s about sharing the fun. People don’t just watch on TV anymore. They’re on mobile. They’re on social. And so, we create more out of those moments than just a 30 second spot on TV. We create an event.  It’d be a lost opportunity if we made great ads and just left it at that. #Boring. Beyond the touchdown dances, be on the lookout for T-Mobile to be EVERYWHERE in your feed throughout the game. The most important thing we can do on Sunday is make memories and new connections and create experiences that leave a lasting impression.
 
Last year, T-Mobile’s Drake and Steve Harvey ads were the #2 and #3 ads on Google’s AdBlitz, because fans were having so much fun with them on social media. This year will be no different. #UnlimitedMoves is not just an ad. It’s an invitation to be a part of it. We’re having an online party, everyone’s invited, and they’re pouring through the door!
 
Recruit a ridiculously awesome team.
Finally, no discussion of our Big Game strategy would be complete without recognizing that it’s a huge team effort. And T-Mobile has the best team – not just in wireless – but anywhere. For real. I see it in the creativity, the smarts, the drive, the commitment to change wireless for good. This team has it all – and they don’t stop. Sometimes, when I watch this team in action, I actually feel a little bit sorry for our competition. No wonder we keep running circles around them.
 
So there it is. That’s not just our game plan for Super Sunday—it’s how we play at T-Mobile.
 
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