Last Friday, Verizon Wireless announced that it had hired a new celebrity spokesperson for its prepaid brand Straight Talk Wireless. That spokesperson is actor and comedian Jim Gaffigan. In the years prior, actor Ed O'Neil fulfilled that role in a less pronounced way as served as the voiceover in Straight Talk TV ads for at least five years. His role with Straight Talk ended in mid-2021. Gaffigan, however, will not only be heard but also seen in the new TV ads.
According to iSpot, the first TV ad featuring Jim Gaffigan started airing on 8/4/23. The ad begins with Gaffigan reaching for a microphone inside of a Walmart store where he tells shoppers to "use your loved ones to save money on wireless." Gaffigan then walks around the store cracking awkward jokes at shoppers as he points out that family can save you money. The ad finishes with a voiceover that states that more lines means more savings with Straight Talk. Straight Talk's Silver Unlimited plan is then pitched at a price point of $25/line with four lines. The full ad can be viewed below.
A Verizon press release states that it's Straight Talk's first live-action TV ad campaign in four years. “Jim's comedy and work ethic embodies who our customer is: observant, hard-working, a little bit skeptical of something that might seem too good to be true, and loves to talk about their family,” said Cheryl Gresham, Chief Marketing Officer of the Verizon Value organization. “We immediately thought of Jim as the perfect partner to explain the value in our new plans and to do it in a really entertaining way."
It's unknown how many ads Gaffigan will appear in. But his comments suggest multiple TV ads have already been filmed. "The commercials we made inside Walmart stores were hilarious. Working with Straight Talk was fun and joining them on a campaign that helps people save more money is the cherry on top,” Gaffigan stated in the Verizon press release.
Straight Talk has been advertising its multi-line plans on TV and radio since they were first announced on July 24th. There are two other TV ads airing featuring the multi-line savings pitch which you can view here and here. Ironically, one features an animation of a standup comedian. Straight Talk has been using standup comedian animations in several of its TV ads since at least April 2023.
Celebrity spokespersons for prepaid wireless and MVNO brands may be getting more common. In March 2022, Ted Danson was tapped to be Consumer Cellular's spokesperson. Last December, Luis Fonsi was brought on to pitch Metro by T-Mobile. Dan Levy had a brief stint with Visible by Verizon. And of course, there's Ryan Reynolds who regularly stars in Mint Mobile TV ads. Reynolds however, is also a co-owner of Mint Mobile which has agreed to be acquired by T-Mobile.