Last year, T-Mobile stormed into its first Super Bowl with Tim Tebow, letting the former NFL quarterback mock his own storied stardom. Now the cocksure wireless "Uncarrier" is back in the game with another self-deprecating celebrity.
Kim Kardashian West will star in a spot, during the first quarter, promoting T-Mobile's new "data stash" offering. It's one of two ads T-Mobile bought during the game. The carrier is also running another in the NBC live-stream, and of course making an accompanying push on the web and Twitter revolving around its newest endorser.
"Who better than Kim Kardashian?" CMO Mike Sievert said. "She's a social media powerhouse. This isn't just a TV commercial. This isn't just a 30-second spot. This is a social media event."
T-Mobile posted considerable growth during 2014, as it continue to rile the wireless industry with strategic moves and acerbic marketing. While doing so, it leaned heavily on social media marketing, led by its bombastic CEO John Legere, who is nearing one million followers on Twitter.
He is dwarfed by Ms. West on that score, however: She reaches over 28 million on Twitter and another 25 million-plus on Instagram.
During the game, T-Mobile will launch a website with behind-the-scenes content from the shoot. Ms. West has also agreed to reply to fans via Twitter during the game.
In the ad, she pokes fun at her propensity for online habits, like posting selfies, that drain wireless data. "Kim's having a ton of fun laughing together with the American public at the amazing phenomonen that is social media," Mr. Sievert said.
T-Mobile debuted the ad, from its regular agency, Publicis Seattle, during TBS's "Conan" on Monday night. Ms. West was a surprise guest.
In December, T-Mobile introduced "data stash," an offering that allows subscribers to tap unused data from prior months. AT&T responded with its own "rollover" plan; Verizon, the market leader, has vowed not to follow suit. Of the big four U.S. carriers, T-Mobile remains the smallest ad spender. According to the Ad Age DataCenter, T-Mobile spent $1.1 billion in 2013, the last year data was available.