Verizon's "Can you hear me now?" pitchman is now with Sprint

You probably don't know the name Paul Marcarelli, but if you saw a picture of him a flood of memories would return to your brain. Paul is the famous Verizon pitchman who started in 2002 asking, "Can you hear me now?" During the ads, he would constantly 'test' new locations to make sure that Verizon customers would be able to maintain a connection in that area.

With his horn rimmed glasses, windbreaker with the Verizon logo and a hard hat, Marcarelli became one of those commercial actors who become attached to the brand he/she pitches. Just as Flo has you thinking about Progressive Insurance as soon as you see her, seeing Marcarelli instantly reminds you of Verizon. For commercial actors, being associated with a brand like that means that they are at the top of their craft. And when the actor is known for a certain catch phrase ("Can you hear me now?"), he/she becomes even more recognizable.

Marcarelli hasn't been part of any Verizon advertising campaign for some time now, but he was still able to parlay his Verizon connection into a brand new gig. In a commercial in rotation during the NBA Finals, Mararelli  discusses his jump to Sprint. Instead of talking about how great Sprint's network is, the ad is really designed to get consumers to understand that Sprint's service is nearly as reliable as Verizon's, but costs much less.

"Hey, I’m Paul, and I used to ask `If you could hear me now with Verizon?’ Not anymore," says the actor in his new ad, disclosing his move to Sprint. "Guess what, it’s 2016, and every network is great. In fact, Sprint’s reliability is now within 1% of Verizon...So I switched to Sprint and millions more have too. Can you hear that?"

Paul's new boss, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, called the actor a free agent. The executive added, "Our goal is basically to get people when they’re watching our ads or watching social media to pay attention…. I think a lot of people are going to recognize Paul and see (him) in a (Sprint-colored) yellow tee show and ask themselves, `what happened?'"

Check out Marcarelli's new Sprint ad, and his very first appearance in a Verizon commercial from back in 2002. Both are embedded below.

source:  USAToday, JWYoung5



1. Adsr14

Posts: 118; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

Cool. I still pretend neither company exists because they're both CDMA. I giggle every time an article says "this is an unlocked GSM phone and will work just fine with carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon and Sprint customers will have to look elsewhere" lol

2. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

You have a meager sense of humor if that's what makes you laugh ...

3. tuminatr

Posts: 1123; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

quit trolling, the same could be said of T-Mobile and At&t no reason why they could not sell a phone that supports Verizon and Sprints network but they choose not to do so. Look at the many multi network devices out there like the Iphone from IP5 and newer will work on any us network when unlocked, the Nexus devices from the nexus 5 and newer, the Moto X pure works with any us network and there are a few more. Personally I think for these companies to sell a phone it should be required to work on all domestic networks at its launch.

8. TheOracle1

Posts: 2260; Member since: May 04, 2015

GSM is the dominant world standard. Get used to it. Until recently you couldn't even roam abroad with a Verizon phone and it's still very restricted.

9. tuminatr

Posts: 1123; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Also Not true, the vast majority of Verizon's phones have supported it for the past 5-6 years. And all of there 4g devices have been factory unlocked. And that does not change my point we are talking about domestic carriers and policy in the united states.

4. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

If T-Mobiles service wasn't so terrible where I live I might have them as my carrier. They talk a lot of smack, but their coverage just plain sucks.

12. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

And you live where?

5. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Verizon and AT&T are the dominant carriers in most rural areas, with fringe service. In my area, Verizon has the best reach and best LTE speeds (hits 50mbps where the rest barely hit 5mbps). 1% lol no, not by a very long shot. There's almost zero Sprint service in my area.

13. Plutonium239

Posts: 1213; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Verizon is inferior to AT&T in Michigan.

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Sadly Michigan is inferior to Ohio ST.

17. Plutonium239

Posts: 1213; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Sadly, football is as boring and pointless as every other sport on the planet(and perhaps more harmful to its players, except perhaps rugby?).

6. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Only way I can hear him with Sprint (dropped call jab at them) is if he falls down (he gained much weight).

7. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I'll take that "1%" better network, which really is about 70% better in my area, and pay less for it than I was with Sprint. On Sprint, my bill was close to $130; while on Verizon my bill is less than $100. Granted I don't have unlimited data on Verizon but in the 2yrs I've had Verizon I've only came close to using all my data 3 times.

10. Metropolis75

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

So he wasn't paid to do this commercial then? Next you'll tell me that Coke and Pepsi vendors don't drink each other's product.

11. captfbgnet

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

Everyone has an opinion-that's what great about America-but I think this was a great marketing ploy by Sprint. I think this ad will be much more rewarding and productive for Sprint than some of the others. Because nobody can forget the Verizon 'can you hear me now' campaign, it will resonate much longer for Sprint and its customers. Also, I've seen improvement in the Sprint network-I know not everyone has- and I believe that this time, Sprint may get it right. All of this, just my opinion of course.

14. SprintGuy26

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

holly crap is this old...hes holding the Motorola v60, i loved that phone lol

15. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Verizon just gave years worth of free advertising to Sprint

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