Sprint's New Pitchman Is Verizon's 'Can You Hear Me Now' Guy

Paul Marcarelli Was Carrier's Spokesman for Nearly a Decade

By Maureen Morrison. Published on Jun 06, 2016

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If you watched TV at all in the 2000s, you've likely seenVerizon's ubiquitous pitchman -- the one who endlessly asked, "Can you hear me now?"

And if you watched the second game of the NBA Finals on Sunday, you saw him shilling for rival Sprint. While he quit doing TV ads for Verizon around 2011, he's now appearing in Sprint's latest campaign. The actor, Paul Marcarelli, is appearing as himself in the new spot, called "Paul Switched."

In the ad he introduces himself, and notes that he's now a Sprint customer because Sprint's "reliability is now within 1% of Verizon. And Sprint saves you 50% on most Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rates." The ad was created by Interpublic's Deutsch.

Mr. Marcarelli was Verizon's spokesman for nearly a decade, but the company kept his identity a mystery in much of the advertising.

While the telcos constantly try to one-up competitors' claims and undercut each other's rates, Verizon is known for being among the more expensive carriers.

The new ad comes as Sprint continues to make an effort to cut about $2.5 billion in costs. On the ad side of its business, it recently opened an in-house agency, YellowFan Studios, that "has full creative responsibility for the Overland Park, Kan.-based mobile carrier providing film and print production, design and all other creative services," the company said in a statement last month about the move. Deutsch remains the company's general market agency.

"We've made tremendous advancements in our network during the past year and Sprint's network reliability is now within 1% difference of Verizon," said Marcelo Claure, Sprint president and CEO, in a statement about the latest ad. "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."

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Jun 06, 2016
Deutsch - L.A.
President & CEO:
Marcelo Claure
Deutsch Inc.
Chief Marketing Officer:
Roger Solé
VP Brand, Advertising & Social:
Tracy Palmer
Director of Advertising:
Stacey Shupert
Social Media:
Laurie Meeks
Marketing Manager:
Laurie Meeks
Advertising Manager:
Sara Mozingo
Advertising Manager:
Amanda Sangster
Executive Creative Director:
Christopher Bennett
Deutsch Inc.
Chief Creative Officer, North America:
Pete Favat
Chief Creative Officer:
Jason Bagley
Executive Creative Director:
Jim DiPiazza
Executive Creative Director:
Gavin Lester
Creative Director:
Trevor Kuhn
Creative Director:
Matt Elhardt
Director of Integrated Production:
Vic Palumbo
Executive Producer:
Dan Kaplan
Senior Integrated Producer:
Fabiola Hernandez
Music Director:
Dave Rocco
Group Account Director:
John McGonigle
Account Director:
Sandhya Pathak
Account Supervisor:
Kelly Childers
Jeffrey Blish
Executive Planning Director:
Jeffrey Blish
Co-Director of Account Planning:
Lindsey Allison
Executive Vice President:
Lindsey Allison
Associate Planning Director:
Morgan Aceino
Director of Integrated Business Affairs:
Abilino Guillermo
Executive Business Affairs Manager:
Jimmy Gutierrez
Business Affairs Manager:
Nicole de la Torriente
Director of Broadcast Traffic:
Carie Bonillo
Live Action Production Company:
Nicholas Jasenovec
Executive Producer:
Michael Sagol
Managing Partner:
Michael Sagol
Executive Producer:
Darren Foldes
Head Of Production:
Kelly Bowen
Jeff Tanner
Editorial Company:
Chan Hatcher
Lead Flame Artist:
Verdi Sevenhuysen
Production Company:
Flame Artist:
Hatley Charles
H.J. Chong
Executive Producer:
Ted Markovic
David Entin
Production Company:
Company 3
Senior Colorist:
Dave Hussey
Audio Post Company:
740 Sound
Audio Executive Producer:
Scott Ganary
Larry Winer
Licensed Track:
YellowFan Jazz Bass

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