Putting Verizon’s former “Can you hear me now” pitchman Paul Marcarelli front and center of their own campaign, along with introducing a new unlimited data plan, seem to have helped push Sprint to its highest consumer perception in more than four years.
Since early September, Sprint’s consumer perception has shot up 67%. By October 18th, Sprint passed the wireless carrier sector average score for the first time since March 2012.
Just two weeks ago, Sprint said it added 347,000 new customers in the second quarter, more than twice the number it added in the first quarter.
The first spot featuring former Verizon pitchman Paul Marcarelli debuted during early June’s NBA Finals. He claims he's now a Sprint customer because its "reliability is now within 1% of Verizon." In a second spot which hit in late July, he proclaims that Sprint saves you 50% on most Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rates.
In mid-August, Sprint unveiled its Unlimited Freedom Plan, costing $60 for the first line, $40 for the second and $30 for each additional line up to 10. Sprint’s Boost Mobile also added unlimited data plans.
In apparent reaction to Sprint’s success, Verizon debuted an ad in mid-August starring Jamie Foxx representing "Verizon," and a double that looks like Foxx, representing "Sprint." So far, the Verizon campaign doesn’t seem to have succeeded, as its consumer perception has trended lower since the campaign’s mid-August debut.
YouGov BrandIndex measured Sprint, Verizon, and the four wireless carriers with its Buzz score, which asks respondents "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"
Buzz score can range from -100 to 100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.