Man drags his family into a plot to fake his own death in chilling new Sprint TV ad

Phone contract getting you down? Considering something drastic like faking your own death to get out of it? Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped Sprint from using exactly that scenario in its latest TV ad, which is its weirdest jab at competitor Verizon yet. The thing is, it plays like a horrific blend of The Shining and Fargo.

The ad opens with our clearly disturbed protagonist pushing his SUV over the edge of a quarry. Inside the vehicle is a dummy made to look something like the owner, ready to fool the insurance company when it investigates the incident. Because faking your death is always wholesome family fun, he has brought his son and daughter along to watch, telling them in a tone that would make Jack Torrance proud, “Well kids, Daddy’s dead!” What a monster.

However, the cunning plan is foiled when Paul turns up. Out for a brisk walk on a rainy day, Paul figures out the ruse immediately. He asks, “Faking your own death to get our of your Verizon contract?” Nervous chatter about cops and the legal consequences of their actions next spreads among the family members.

Paul, realizing his life is now in danger after confronting a man so obviously at the end of his tether, quickly — but still rather smugly for someone about to follow the car down the quarry — talks about how awesome Sprint is, and how easy it is to switch. The ad ends abruptly, and we may never know if Paul makes it out the quarry alive.

Of course, it’s all lighthearted tomfoolery, plus there’s a handy “Do Not Attempt” warning on the screen when dad’s pushing the car into the quarry, so that’s all right then. Watch the message disappear when everyone talks about switching to Sprint though. Leaving it on screen at that time may give the wrong impression.

Sprint is keen to take unhappy phone owners away from Verizon and other carriers, and even has a special deal to attract defectors, which includes unlimited data, text, and minutes for a monthly cost of $50. It has seen plenty of growth recently, too, but is still the fourth largest network in the United States, behind AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

A 30-second version of the ad also exists, and the extended 45 second version seen here will play during the Super Bowl; but it still leaves the big question unanswered. What was Paul’s fate? Is he at the bottom of the quarry with the car, was he paid off to keep the terrible secret, or did they all live happily ever after a visit to the Sprint store?

Movies & TV

Us review: Jordan Peele makes seeing double singularly terrifying

Jordan Peele follows up his Oscar-winning 2017 thriller Get Out with a more straightforward horror film in Us, but the film's blunt terror succeeds thanks to fantastic performances from the cast and clever storytelling.

Get a head start mastering Apex Legend's newest character Octane with our guide

Apex Legends' newest legend Octane ran so fast in the Titanfall 2 gauntlet that he blew off his legs. Now dropping into Kings Canyon with prosthetics, Octane's ability set is still centered around speed. Here's how to play as Octane.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!