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attracting  new  customers  with  a  big promotion

Sprint  |  50% off Competitor plans rate cards  |  Fall 2015

Sprint was a telecommunication company based in Kansas City, KS. Before it merged with T-Mobile, it was the 4th largest mobile network operator in the United States, serving over 50 million customers. For this project, we worked with the Marketing Communications team responsible for all the core and promotional creative included in the stores.

Weber Team members
  • Members Involved: Abigail Crock (Graphic Designer), Katherine Koziol (Copywriter), Nicole Sampson (Project Manager), Rick Jenkins (Senior Graphic Designer), Andrew Leatherman (Partner)
  • My Role: I was the designer on this project and was responsible for brainstorming creative concepts, creating the rate cards, and providing design direction to our development team
Project Narrative

In an industry where you are always competing for new customers, the holiday season can be crucial for your business. When you are in 4th place, you need to do something big to get new consumers’ attention. Two weeks before Black Friday, Sprint’s CEO, Marcelo Claure, wanted a new traffic-driving promotion for the 2015 holiday season. They decided to launch a new 50% off competitors plan promotion and needed collateral to communicate the latest rate card to customers.

The client kicked this project off on a Friday afternoon. We spent the weekend brainstorming and creating concepts, delivering options late Sunday night. We made several concepts, including options that mimic the competitors’ rate cards. The client preferred that option as it aligned to the creative that other agencies were also working on. All three rate cards were in-market, translated, and shipped to stores to launch the promotion two weeks later.

In addition to developing rate cards, Sprint wanted us to translate this promotion into an interactive version housed on our retail tablet tool. To be in the market when the promotion launched, we initially started with a button interface with static rate card images. We launched a full interactive version around Christmas.

Our work on this project was very well received among all Sprint executives and opened several doors for us as an agency.

  • When the CEO wanted to tweet something out about this promotion, he used our rate cards as the tweets’ images.
  • It contributed to expanding our retainer with Sprint into the Consumer marketing space, nearly doubling our yearly volume.
  • This promotion and creative remained in the market until April of 2017, which is much longer than the typical 6 to 9-month lifespan Sprint plan creative typically has.
  • The interactive version of the tool was accessed by 65% of Sprint stores in the first year of the promotion, making nearly 20,000 comparisons.

When developing our concepts, competitors’ recent rate cards inspired our creative. We wanted to pull in in elements from each that made each card look distinctive. For Verizon, we knew we wanted to pull in the circles, and we were also exploring using the ice cream for a bit. For AT&T, we liked the rounded boxes from their brochure. And with T-Mobile, we enjoyed the grid structure that came from the messaging example.

Source Materials (from left to right): Slide from Messaging Architecture using Competitors Rate Cards as Examples to Illustrate 50% off Rates, Verizon Brochure, and AT&T Brochure

Initial Concepts (from left to right and top to bottom): Internal Concepts, Option 1 – Mimic Carriers, and
Option 2: Side-by-Side

Keeping the competitors’ examples in our minds, we used our internal brainstorming session to come up with three ways to show the 50% off prices.

Graph: This concept shows that Sprint’s price is half the height of the Verizon price.

Mimic Carriers: This concept puts our take on what Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are doing. It mimics the shapes and layout but does not copy it exactly. 

Side-by-Side: This compares a carrier’s price to Sprint’s price but does not overtly state that it’s half.

After internal reviews, we moved forward with versions of the Mimic Carrier and Side-by-Side creative. We refined each option and built each concept out to show each carrier’s card.

The client chose the Mimic Carrier options, which pulled aspects from the competitors’ rate cards – circles from Verizon, rounded boxes from AT&T, and T-Mobile’s grid. Each card utilized the competitors’ colors and logo, which was a big step for a carrier that typically stuck to only using competitors’ names in creative. We used yellow paint swipes to slash the competitors’ price, and a brush script font to show the new Sprint price. Each rate card included an example for the customer to follow, clearly showing what the customer would pay at each carrier.

Final Rate Card Fronts (from left to right): Verizon and AT&T

Final Rate Card (from left to right): T-Mobile Front and Back for All Carriers

The back of each rate card included a call out to another Sprint plan, Family Share Pack, and a network reliability message. It also had the full offer details that Sprint requires for all its offers and service plans.

The interactive version, housed on our Rate Plan Comparison tool, allowed the customer to choose: their current carrier, the amount of data they wanted per line, and how many phones, tablets, or mobile broadband devices they had on their account. Once they made their choices, the results would display using red circles for Verizon, rounded blue squares for AT&T, and magenta squares for T-Mobile. One benefit of the interactive version was that it allowed a customer to know their specific yearly savings if they switched to Sprint.

When designing this tool, we wanted to maintain flexibility in case the pricing or data buckets changed. The tool’s CMS was flexible and allowed us to easily change which data buckets appeared in the slider for each carrier and change the price for each bucket or line type. We could also easily update the header image as messaging changed.

Interactive 50% off Compeitiors Plans Interface

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