On Sunday night, the unthinkable happened.
No, it wasn’t when the Golden State Warriors dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers to the tune of 110-77. And it wasn’t when that crazy thing happened on Game of Thrones (no spoilers). It was when a commercial aired featuring Paul Marcarelli, best known as the “Can you hear me now?” Test Man for Verizon.
But the commercial was for Sprint.
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USA Today spoke with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure over the phone, and he told them that Paul is a “free agent” who is being “very factual” in the ad:
“Our goal is basically to get people when they’re watching our ads or watching social media to pay attention…. I think a lot of people are going to recognize Paul and see Paul in a yellow t-shirt and ask themselves, ‘what happened?'”
The gist of the ad is that Sprint’s reliability is now within 1% of Verizon’s, despite that fact that the Sprint’s rates are still 50% lower than most of the plans offered by not only Verizon, but AT&T and T-Mobile as well.
Sprint even set up a landing page with Paul’s face on it, just to drive the point home.
You can watch the first of several ads featuring the former Verizon pitch man below: