Supermodel Carly Foulkes, otherwise more commonly known as the T-Mobile girl, is one of the most easily recognized commercial characters today next to Flo from Progressive insurance and Mayhem from Allstate. But thanks to her cute, bubbly, girl-next-door personality in the commercial series, many brands have taken advantage of T-Mobile by making fun of the company as fake, inferior, and weak. Instead, the T-Mobile girl is trading in a closet full of pink sundresses for a dark, skintight leather suit in a new commercial campaign known as “No More Mr. Nice Girl.”
In the first of the series, the commercial called Alter Ego finds Foulkes stepping into her posh apartment, rummaging through her brightly lit closet and finding nothing new to wear. Instead, she zips into a leather suit (which still has some neon pink accents) and hops on a Ducati, speeding away into the night. Unlike the usual T-Mobile commercials, Foulkes doesn’t smile, says nothing to the screen, and does nothing to communicate to the audience. “Time to set the record straight,” the ad reads as she disappears down the secluded city. “Test drive America’s largest 4G network.” To do so, consumers can visit the Test Drive section of the official T-Mobile site to see how the brand’s devices run against competitors.
Peter DeLuca, senior vice president of T-Mobile’s brand, advertising and communications department, says the rebranding is a long overdue makeover that the company needed to attract new customers, especially with new phone lineups slated for release later in the year. It’s also a method of using Foulkes as a way to symbolize T-Mobile’s evolution as not just a preferred carrier, but a true competitor amongst Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T.
“We really can’t wait until the end of the year to make some noise in the market,” DeLuca told AllThingsD. “[Alter Ego] showcases an edgier, more tech-savvy and spirited side of Carly, a metaphor that speaks to the cutting edge technology, network speed and capabilities, and bold steps T-Mobile is taking in the marketplace as a challenger brand.”
Compared to the new Apple Siri commercial featuring resident cutiepie Zooey Deschanel being her silly self, it’s hard to tell which strategy works better for phone companies. Does the new edgy T-Mobile girl entice you, or does she intimidate you? Is this just T-Mobile’s way of following the advertising model that sex sells? We’re definitely looking forward to seeing how her character continues to develop onscreen. Love it or hate it, she’s still very much iconic in popular television and we admit the refreshed look totally grabbed our attention.
Missed it on TV? Watch the T-Mobile Alter Ego commercial below.