The nightmare Sprint’s business customers will face next week…

I’ve been anticipating the news and got my first bite this morning courtesy of an Associated Press article, New Sprint Ads To Highlight Clients’ Need For Speed about Sprint Nextel’s new spot coming out this Friday in theaters and then begin airing Sunday on television.

The article continues with Michelle Emerson, vice president of brand for Reston, Va.-based Sprint Nextel Corp., stating “the initial ads will get consumers to see speed as important, and subsequent ads will show how Sprint Nextel’s network and devices can make that speed work for them in terms of music and movie downloads and instantaneous Internet browsing.”

Now the paragraph just before this changing the consumer’s priority statement by Emerson highlights surveys by David Chamberlain, wireless analyst for In-Stat, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based research group.

‘If your most compelling feature is measured in bits per second, it’s not
very compelling,’ said Chamberlain, ‘I think if you’re looking at the consumer
market, speed doesn’t have much to offer. I’ve done surveys, and 60 percent of
the population say they just want a phone.’

Based on the initial article this morning I had a feeling that my previous posts on the subject might be on target.

A late evening check of Adweek gave me confirmation… Telco Tries to ‘Sprint Ahead’ With Goodby’s 1st Work. You can view the ad directly here.

Tim Kelly, Sprint’s CMO, stated “This advertising taps in to how customers wants to experience service and brings emotion much more into it than we had in past.”

The written description of the first spot highlights the biggest issue I feel the company has as a brand.

In “Dreams,” a series of artists creates simple artistic images, such as jump
ropes and stars, out of flashlights on a darkened street. As a narrator talks
about a magic screen holding your favorite music, pictures and stories,
additional images made of light continue to play across the screen. It ends with
the tagline, “Sprint ahead.”

There is not one benefit or feature directed to the majority of Sprint’s customer base that were Nextel business customers and most likely a large portion last months first quarter report stating a loss of 220,000 high-quality customers who pay their bills at the end of the month and typically spend more.

The ads will be out and so will the jury on this one, but my prediction is there is no “dream” in store for Sprint’s business customers.

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