Republic Wireless has a new “southern gentleman” spokesman and its pumping up ad spending to make sure he can get the message out about the MVNO’s $19 per month unlimited offering.
Republic Wireless partnered with the VIA Agency to create several TV spots featuring straight-shooting spokesman H. Bud Chadwickson. For four weeks, the 60-second ads will appear on TBS, TNT, USA, FOX News, and Comedy Central. In addition, H. Bud will have a presence on various social media sites and Republic Wireless will buy video banner ads on sites like Huffington Post, Southern Living and People.
Republic Wireless did not respond as of press time to inquiries about how much was being spent on the new campaign.
The slightly unhinged, irreverent marketing campaign seems like an emerging trend for MVNOs. Virgin Mobile recently debuted surreal ads featuring Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, alongside all manner of psychedelic imagery. But Virgin is an official prepaid brand of Sprint, affording it more of a budget. While Republic Wireless buys its airtime wholesale from Sprint, it’s owned by a smaller company called Bandwidth.
FreedomPop, another MVNO operating on Sprint’s network, has plans to bump up its ad spending soon. But it and Republic Wireless seem like exceptions. MVNOs don’t seem capable of making enough noise to drown out all the TV-ad spending from major carriers like AT&T and Verizon.
Still, Republic Wireless’ $19 per month offer for unlimited talk, text and data is an intriguing deal that could gain a lot of traction once word gets out. The company is able to offer such low rates because it sends the majority of its IP-based services over free Wi-Fi, only falling back to Sprint’s network when that’s not available.
Republic Wireless has so far only offered one phone, the Motorola Defy XT, but CEO David Morken told Inc. that the company’s working on announcing three new phones this summer.