What would you do with free texts for life?

That’s what T-Mobile is asking in its latest campaign. So, what would I do with free texts for life? Well, I suppose I’d, you know, carry on texting people. But without worrying about any possible charges. ‘Cos all the texts would be free. For the rest of my life.

That the right answer?

Well, yes, but it’s hardly the most fun or imaginative. T-Mobile’s agency must have countenanced such a prosaic response from the public, because the ads feature a few alternative suggestions. They’re supposedly provided by Ordinary Members of the Public.

I guess the suggestions are meant to make you stop and think to yourself ‘yeah! Now you come to mention it, I could use my free texts to do something like that! Something specific that I hadn’t previously thought of! And still haven’t, but it’s early days! I have a lifetime to think of an actual purpose for my free texts, something far more defined and ambitious than just texting people! Kyuh.

It’s so easy to criticise. Off we go then

In one of the ads, the reply to the question ‘What would you do with free texts for life?’ is ‘I got everyone together for a picnic by the river. Cancel the table for four.’

You couldve picked some level ground!

You could've picked some level ground!

Awww. Lucky them. Or unlucky them, depending on which restaurant you’d booked and whether or not the rain held off. At least they have the mandatory VW camper van standing by.

(I hope to make the ubiquity of these vehicles in ads the subject of a future blog. Please feel free to refer me to any examples.)

But the answer is hardly in the spirit of the question. Faced with the intoxicating prospect of a lifetime of free texts, all this person could do was arrange baps on a blanket for three mates. Surely that’s something he could have done before this offer came along? He seemed to have managed the restaurant booking all right.

There’s a weird thing going on with the tenses, as well. The question is ‘what would you do?’ Future. We’re asked to hypothesize, to wonder. But the answer given is retrospective. ‘I got everyone together for a picnic by the river.’ Past.

Until, strangely, the ‘Cancel the table for four’ part. Then it’s, ahem, back to the future. So you’ve had the picnic, but you still haven’t cancelled the restaurant? And you with your lifetime of free texts? Shameful.

How did the Beatles, U2 or Oasis ever get their show on the road?

One of the campaign’s other ads is quite fun too. It poses the same question, but this time we can see the respondent delivering his answer to camera, as it were.

Let’s remind ourselves of the question.

Isnt it obvious? Why, Id...

Isn't it obvious? Why, I'd...

This guy’s brainwave is:

He'd text all the musicians he knew and they'd start a superband

There are a couple of things that annoy me about this. (Not greatly, mind you. I’m only doing this to fill in time before The News comes on). One is the assumption that we’ll look at the ad and think, yeah, that’s a bit like me, I know LOADS of musicians, and they’re all waiting for me to arrange them into some sort of superband.

Another is the word superband.

A third is the idea that the only thing…the ONLY thing…that has so far stopped our lad from forming a ‘superband’ is that he didn’t have enough texts left.

It wasn’t the absence of talent or time or ambition or a common musical direction. It was a lack of texts. I find that unbelievable.

Finally, I’m in two minds about the guy in the ad. He looks friendly, honest, open and non-threatening. But then I blink and suddenly he looks like a cardie-contained mixture of the unutterably gormless and the insufferably smug.

Right, The News is about to start. See you anon.


Filed under Ill-informed advertising observations

7 responses to “What would you do with free texts for life?

  1. what is a superband? no wait i can hear the conversation. the copywriter put down supergroup, but research says that the phrase supergroup has fallen into disuse wiv der kids and has to be replaced. so they have a brain storm and make up a word. Superband. Simples.

    • bravenewmalden

      You’re probably right. Supergroups went out with LPs.

      • An alternative version of the ad would feature a OMP bombing along the fast lane of the motorway texting as they go. That might fall foul of the ASA.

  2. Ha! Just HA!

    *goes off to have picnic on slope*

  3. Janet

    How about extreme picnicking with the insufferably smug, cardi-wearing penny pincher? Just think: him with his free texts, us scoffing salad and scotch eggs diagonally whilst being seranaded by his mysterious superband. Mm, musical. Then we nick his phone.

    • bravenewmalden

      Ha! On the other hand, *recognises the possibility of the agency’s CD reading this* the campaign is eye-catching and remarkably well targeted.

  4. I get 500 texts a month and I usually use about 20 or 30 of them. If anyone runs out of texts and needs to send some more, just drop me an email or something and I’ll send them on your behalf.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s