T-Mobile's ads get aggressive with 'No More Mr. Nice Girl'

T-Mobile USA is planning a more aggressive advertising campaign, with its spokeswoman Carly Foulkes trading her magenta dress for the black leather of a biker, and the company highlighting its "4G" HSPA+ network more than ever before.

Carly Foulkes trading her magenta dress for the black leather of a biker

T-Mobile's Carly Foulkes as a biker.

The carrier, which is making a $200 million incremental increase in advertising spending, is focused on a tougher brand image. Previously, Foulkes, who has been in T-Mobile's ads since 2010, was deployed to highlight T-Mobile's fast HSPA+ network, but the advertising spots were bright and sunny. Now, after T-Mobile lost 802,000 postpaid subscribers in the fourth quarter, due mainly to its lack of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, the carrier is getting more aggressive.

"Clearly 2012 is a rebuilding year for T-Mobile," Peter DeLuca, T-Mobile's senior vice president of brand, advertising and communications, told AdAge. "We need to get the brand back out there and get consumers to take another look."

The new advertising campaign will debut first on television but will also be accompanied by online advertising. Internally, the campaign is called "No More Mr. Nice Girl."

T-Mobile, which currently operates an HSPA+42 network covering 184 million POPs and an HSPA+21 network covering more than 200 million POPs, is clearly banking on speed to be its key differentiator before it transitions to LTE next year. Earlier this month T-Mobile confirmed that later this year it will begin offering HSPA+ support for unlocked iPhones on its network as it reforms it spectrum.

The new ads with Foulkes are intended to make T-Mobile's brand synonymous with speed. "Before she was this approachable character; now we need to show the other side: She wants speed," DeLuca told AdAge. "I have to communicate as a challenger that we have 4G."

T-Mobile's new campaign comes as AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) launches a new, consumer-facing advertising campaign to supplement its "Rethink Possible" campaign as it seeks to stay ahead of the curve in how customers use and think about mobile technology. The AT&T campaign, dubbed "It's What You Do With What We Do," will not replace "Rethink Possible," which was launched two years ago. Instead, an AT&T spokesman said, the ads will fall under the "Rethink" umbrella.

For more:
- see this AdAge article
- see this AllThingsD article

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