The Cricket Wireless Cartoon Takeover: What it Means for Traditional TV Commercials

Patrick Antinozzi

With the rise of digital media and fall of our attention spans, advertisers are struggling to find ways to keep people watching traditional TV commercials. Some TV networks, like TruTV, are even reducing their ad time by as much 47%

But the networks, who rely on commercials as their primary source of revenue, are not simply going to lie down and accept those losses. No, they will adapt and find new ways to get your eye balls in front of their ads.

Take Adult Swim and Cricket Wireless, for example. Cricket Wireless recently "took over" an entire episode of Family Guy on the Adult Swim network. Every single commercial that aired was for Cricket, and consisted of a wide variety of styles and methods.

Turner's new advertising offering, dubbed "Beyond the :30," allows marketers to essentially splash their brand across a half-hour TV show. Tonight, AT&T's Cricket will present a 10-second introduction to the Family Guy show, and its logo will replace the Adult Swim logo on the bottom corner of viewers' TV screen for the entire duration of the episode. During the episode, Cricket's brand will be featured in a 10-second spot and again in a 90-second spot created and produced by Adult Swim. Cricket will then also broadcast its own 30-second ad. Cricket's takeover of Family Guy advertising will end with another custom 15-second ad just before the end of the show.

- Fierce Wireless

The reasoning behind this new strategy?

The Cricket brand is vibrant, youthful and animated, like Adult Swim content. To complement that synergy, our value proposition is attractive to cost-conscious millennials who are passionate fans of the network and also value authenticity from brands. 'Beyond the :30' infuses relevance and genuineness into our advertising in fun, cool and exciting ways. We innovate through simplicity at Cricket and we also want to be part of innovation in how companies talk to consumers.

- Janna Ducich, CMO - Cricket Wireless

As on-demand "Netflix-style" services become the norm, less people are spending time watching TV traditionally, which means less people are watching traditional TV commercials. And like Janna mentioned, millennials in particular need to be advertised to in more creative ways.

If your business relies on consumer-focused advertising, don't be afraid to get a little creative. Millennials are not interested in following faceless brands. Show some personality, humor, and even a slight edge. (where appropriate of course)

The best advertisements are the ones that don't feel like advertisements, and Cricket Wireless may have just showed everyone how it's done.

About the Author

Patrick Antinozzi

Patrick is our Content Specialist / Brand Ambassador / Internet Geek. He's got his finger on the pulse of business and retail trends, and loves writing in various corners of the internet. When he's not doing that, you'll find him traveling the world, playing hockey, or ranting about the Montreal Canadiens.

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