It's a war out there in wireless. And as of this weekend, consider the ante upped. T-Mobile is charging into the Super Bowl with three in-game spots, two of which it revealed today and another it will on Sunday.
In the two spots unveiled today, onetime NFL hopeful Tim Tebow stars in a series of humorous vignettes where he does things only possible without a contract, such as delivering a baby and addressing the United Nations. "No Contract, No Worries" and "Still No Contract," both from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, will run in the second and third quarters. A third spot, from Publicis Seattle and Riney, will run in the fourth quarter.
T-Mobile is also running two spots during the pre-game.
It's a big investment for T-Mobile, which spent $1.15 billion in advertising in the U.S. in 2012, according to Ad Age Datacenter. That sounds like a lot but consider AT&T spent $2.9 billion and Verizon $2.3 billion in the same time frame.
T-Mobile has been taking heavy shots at AT&T by offering $450 for subscribers to switch. AT&T is a rich target for the company because it operates on the same wireless technology, meaning no need to change handsets to switch. They've also been marketing a low-cost global talk plan as well as plans that don't require a service contract.
It's also personal: T-Mobile CEO John Legere crashed AT&T's party at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but was quickly tossed out. The Super Bowl is one party Mr. Legere won't get tossed out of.
T-Mobile is all alone among wireless carriers in the Super Bowl, unless AT&T, Verizon or Sprint have something up their sleeves. AT&T will have a cameo in the Beats Music spot starring Ellen DeGeneres.