Sprint’s Comically Grim Super Bowl Ad Might Have the Best Line of the Night

Dark humor from Droga5

This dad goes to extremes to get out of his cell phone contract. - Credit by Sprint
Headshot of Katie Richards

It’s a pretty well-known fact that cell phone contracts are notoriously difficult to get out of. So difficult, in fact, that it can lead people to do some pretty extreme things.

Take the guy in Sprint’s Super Bowl ad, titled “Car.” He is willing to mentally scar his two children, after dragging them to a remote cliff on a dreary day, by pushing his car off the aforementioned cliff all in the name of getting out of his Verizon contract.

Sprint’s in-game ad is a 30-second spot that will run in the second quarter, but the brand also released an extended cut that will run after the game is over. “Car” marks Droga5’s first creative work for Sprint after the agency won the account from Deutsch in November without pitching.

The spot opens with a dummy version of the dad, glasses askew, in the family’s car. As the real dad nudges the car over the edge of the cliff and watches it crash down into a pile of rocks, he chuckles to himself and delivers perhaps the most hilariously dark line ever.

“Well kids, daddy’s dead,” he says to his poor, emotionally scarred children.

The ad is filled with clever and funny moments like that one, and that’s just what the brand and Droga5 are hoping to capture.

“We’re excited to share our first work for Sprint in the Super Bowl. It’s a humorous, Big-Gamey twist on the campaign Sprint is currently running. We wanted to capture the helplessness of being trapped in a cycle of insane fees, and let Verizon customers know Sprint is the right option,” Matt Ian, Droga5 executive creative director, said in a statement.

Some of the highlights in the ad include a cameo from former Verizon pitchman turned Sprint spokesperson Paul Marcarelli, who made the switch to Sprint in June 2016. He arrives on the scene, apparently out of nowhere, equipped with a handy set of hiking sticks, making his cameo even more absurd and comical. There’s a line from the shocked son asking his dad if faking one’s own death to get out of a contract is illegal, while the fine print on the screen reads, “Yes, extremely illegal.” It’s all pretty great.

The brand even alluded to how its ad would play out when CEO Marcelo Claure tweeted last week that Sprint would return to Super Bowl LI with a “real cliffhanger” of an ad. Get it? Cliff hanger!

“Sprint understands frustrated Verizon customers and so many consumers face paying too much for their wireless bills and Sprint is here to help. There is no need for extreme measures … consumers can just switch to Sprint and get 50 percent off most current AT&T and Verizon rate plan prices all on Sprint’s award-winning reliable network,” Roger Solé, Sprint CMO, said in a statement.


Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman & Founder: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director: Matt Ian
Creative Director: Todd Rone Parker
Creative Director: Daniel Kelly
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Production Development Director: Lucia Grillo
Co-heads of Broadcast Production: Jesse Brihn, Bryan Litman
Executive Producer: Ross Plummer
Associate Broadcast Producer: Caroline Vassiliades
Associate Director, Business Affairs: Librado Sanchez
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Head of Digital Strategy: George Bennett
Group Strategy Director: Meghann Mackenzie
Group Comms Strategy Director: Chanelle Flavell
Strategy Director: Kevin DeStefan
Group Account Director: Blake Crosbie
Account Director: Kelly Harrington
Account Manager: Tori Pierce
Group Project Manager: Mark Lester

Client: Sprint
CEO: Marcelo Claure
CMO: Roger Solé
VP of Brand, Advertising & Social: Tracy Palmer
Director of Advertising: Stacey Shupert
Advertising Manager: Tahryn Nicastro
Audio/Video Editor: Ignacio Galarza
Photographer: Steve Gibson

Production Company: Smuggler
Director: Randy Krallman
DOP: Darren Lew
Executive Producers: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Shannon Jones
Chief Operating Officer: Andrew Colon
Line Producer: Ian Blain

Editorial: Mackcut
Editor: Gavin Cutler
Editorial Producer: Gina Pagano
Assistant Editor: Pamela Petruski

Post Production: The Mill
Executive Producer: Zu Al-Kadiri
Senior Producer: Colin Blaney
Lead Flame: Chris Sonia

Sound: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Seth Phillips

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
Publish date: February 1, 2017 https://dev.adweek.com/brand-marketing/sprints-comically-grim-super-bowl-ad-might-have-the-best-line-of-the-night/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT