When we began working with Cricket Wireless in 2014, the brand had just been acquired by AT&T and brand perception was at an all-time low. People thought of Cricket as just another low-end seller of prepaid phones in a parity category. To say that a repositioning was in order would be an understatement. Our challenge was to expand relevance outside of the Cricket core audience without alienating it.
Instead of jumping into the category pricing wars with just another hard-hitting offer, we went in with something softer: a smile. We pulled from the friendly, approachable DNA of Cricket’s past and created an inclusive animated campaign that connected the joy people feel for their phones to the network behind it—all united by the tagline “Smile, You’re on Cricket.” The animated approach is not only highly ownable and distinctively charming for the category, it also translates seamlessly across multicultural audiences, which has helped us expand our base without losing sight of our core.
ORIGINAL CHARACTER DESIGN
By 2018, our animated cast of characters had become Cricket’s most ownable brand assets (driving more brand linkage than the logo itself!), helping the brand stand out in the crowded sea of sameness of the category. You could say they had become “celebrities” in their own right. Striving for continued effectiveness and relevance, we leaned into this and breathed new life into the role they could play within our advertising and marketing as magnetic, happy, walking, talking vessels for hard-hitting offers.
While the campaign and creative executions have evolved, one thing remains true: “Smile, You’re on Cricket” continues to drive uncharted growth. Since the campaign launched in 2014, we have seen unprecedented results in campaign metrics like unaided awareness and switcher consideration, we’ve doubled our subscriber base, and we’re in the 18th consecutive quarter of growth in net new ads (seeing the lowest churn in AT&T history), all of these working to turn Cricket Wireless into the nation’s fastest-growing prepaid brand.
Four for the Holidays
To stand-out during one of the most popular moments for the wireless category-- the holidays--we treated Cricket’s 4 for $100 offer like the biggest blockbuster hit of the season.
Tying into the truth that connection is better than any gift money can buy, our Hollywood-inspired campaign was designed to communicate one important message: the best holiday plans are the ones that bring us together.
HOLIDAY LONG FORM
In order to draw attention to the 3-minute long-form video asset Four for the Holidays, we used real-time animation technology to create the first-ever interactive character Press Junket, a live-stream with the animated stars of the brand film hosted by one of Hollywood’s most popular celebrity reporter, Mario Lopez.
PRESS JUNKET VIDEO
Not only did we blow benchmarks out of the water for Brand Linkage and Recall, but we doubled our share of voice during the week of the press junket live event and ultimately drove a remarkable increase in sales year-over-year.