On paper, it’s a compelling concept: Carly Foulkes, T-Mobile’s longtime girl in pink, pitching the new iPhone 5 as part of the company’s big new campaign.
But Foulkes doesn’t appear in two new T-Mobile ads, nor as part of the branding on its web site.
We asked T-Mobile to say it ain’t so — Foulkes is a huge part of the T-Mobile brand equity — and we’ll update this item if we get a comment from the company.
But for now, Foulkes has disappeared.
And, oddly, the new front page of the T-Mobile web site calls the company’s past strategy “clueless.” Here’s a screengrab:
The headline, “T-Mobile has left the clueless-cellular-company building,” refers to the company’s new pricing strategy.
T-Mobile has been wanting to offer the iPhone for years and later in April it will finally be able to sell the Apple phone to customers. In addition, T-Mobile is introducing a new pricing structure, offering the iPhone 5 without a contract.
Foulkes + iPhone 5 + simple pricing would appear to equal a killer, “sells itself” marketing prospect.
Yet the company’s launch ads — from Publicis Seattle — feature a bunch of cowboys who resolve to stop pushing people around (as other wireless carriers do with their lon-term contracts) and The Daily Show’s Jason Jones, delivering a faux report on what people don’t know about phone contracts (see videos below).
Foulkes was last seen as “No More Mr. Nice Girl,” a campaign in which she ditched her pink summer dresses in favour of pink-and-black biker leathers. She zoomed around the country on a sports bike and in a helicopter to emphasise T-Mobile’s coverage quality.
But in an ad posted on YouTube Feb. 25 (Foulkes’ final appearance?) she disappears on her bike down a long city street, into the night.
Never to be seen again …?
Here’s the new cowboys ad:
And here’s the Spero ad:
Finally, here’s Foulkes’ last appearance:
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