TracFone: "Bill," "Bonnie" and "Marlene"

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It's not like the rest of us are pushing old people downstairs and stealing candy from unsuspecting babies on a daily basis, but TracFone's strategy of profiling veritable angels to demonstrate–and demonize–the suspect ways of cell phone companies may just be a stroke of heartstring-tugging genius.

In the first round of spots for the company's Net10 service out of Droga5 we meet Bonnie, an infectious disease researcher. We're told her work could help to save millions of lives, yet even she can't seem to figure out her existing cell phone bill. And she's a scientist!

Bill rescues greyhound dogs that have been retired from racing but have years to live and finds them homes. If his cell company cheats him, they might as well be cheating those sweet, innocent dogs.

Marlene is a volunteer grandmother. Yep, a volunteer grandmother.

Director/DP Joaquin Baca-Asay gives us thoughtful shots akin to a documentary raising money to help worthy causes and uplift the human race. Instead, they're used to show how big cell companies are slapping us in our big, fat naïve human race face. Because, as the tagline says, if those companies can cheat these people, how do you think they feel about you?

This delicate mix of emotional storytelling and deft humor taps into our need to know that there are much better people than us out there roaming the earth and making the world a nicer place. Sure it's a direct manipulation of our single tear-ready emotions but those are real people and no one likes getting ripped off and why is my bill always over my plan amount and why does it have to be two years and ... just wook at dat face! In the end, it's a simple, clear idea crafted into commercials well worth watching. To discuss this article, visit the Creativity Forums.
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