Paul Marcarelli, the guy in Verizon advertisements running from 2002 to 2011 who traveled across the United States while asking "can you hear me now?" to check the network's signal, has made a carrier switch.
Marcarelli is now featured in an advertisement for Sprint entitled "Paul Switched," where he stated that the years he spent in traveling the country to show the expansive coverage of Verizon's network no longer means much, as every network is now great.
Marcarelli then goes on to say that the reliability of Sprint is within 1 percent that of Verizon's, but the rates that it offers are much cheaper. The advertisement then ends with Marcarelli raising his eyebrows and asking "can you hear that?" as a nod to his past stature as Verizon's face.
In another advertisement, Marcarelli is shown completing his switch to Sprint as he activates his new smartphone, with him amazed by how fast his data was transferred to his new Sprint device.
Sprint CEO and President Marcelo Claure, in a statement, urged Verizon customers to make the switch to Sprint, just as Marcarelli did, by making the same promise of reliability at par with Verizon's and rates that are 50 percent cheaper compared with those offered by Verizon and other carriers.
"Using Paul in our advertising demonstrates loud and clear that it's a new day in wireless," Claure noted.
The claimed 1 percent difference in network reliability between Sprint and Verizon is based on analysis on independent drive test data acquired from market research agency Nielsen. The information covers the top 106 metropolitan markets in the United States.
The Sprint advertisements featuring Marcarelli debuted on ABC, during the second game of the 2016 NBA Finals. The advertisements can be seen in cable and network channels nationwide, in digital channels and in print media.
Sprint has been very aggressive in cutting costs since 2014, when Claure took the position as CEO. The company has been heavily investing in research and development as well, with Sprint recently demonstrating 5G speeds of up to 2 Gbps with low millisecond latency.