: As it turns out, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert was not joking when referring to his company's Super Bowl advertising embargo, which apparently came into effect
due to the NFL's "protected rights deal" with the league's "official telco sponsor."
In other words, Verizon didn't want the commercial to be watched by around 100 million people on TV, and the NFL had to play ball, which may actually end up benefiting Magenta more. That's because the "Un-carrier" is definitely kicking off the big weekend with far more buzz than its arch-rival while still reportedly having two other 60-second spots approved and ready to air on Sunday against... whatever Big Red might be planning from its own marketing perspective.
Our original story follows below.
The "big game" is upon us, and in addition to once again duking it out in the 5G arena
with their latest network advancements and breakthroughs, Verizon and T-Mobile
(maybe even AT&T) will do everything in their power to shine from an advertising standpoint come Sunday.
Unsurprisingly, the always unconventional "Un-carrier" couldn't just wait until the big day to premiere "one of" its high-profile Super Bowl LV commercials on TV during a specially allocated time slot, instead doing so on Twitter more than 48 hours early
What's intriguing about this 60-second spot is that Mike Sievert claims it was "BANNED"
for some reason "from the big game on Sunday", although it's not entirely clear if the T-Mobile CEO is serious or not when making that "accusation." The not-very-subtle insinuation is that the ban came as a result of Verizon's displeasure with the content of the ad, but even if true, the alleged refusal to air this video may have a different explanation, like a technicality, or as suggested on Reddit
, a limit of some sort on companies.
Either way, Sievert definitely got our attention with this decidedly John Legere-style publicity stunt, especially given that the commercial itself is actually pretty entertaining, managing the rare feat of hyping up football fans while mocking T-Mo's competition without ringing false or falling flat.
The "banned" ad comes up with a fun (and totally made up) explanation for Rob Gronkowski's decision to "retire from retiring" after a year-long football hiatus and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he joined former New England Patriots teammate and longtime pal Tom Brady.
Brady, who won six Super Bowl rings in his 20 seasons as a Patriot, was apparently pondering retirement (not really) when good old "Gronk" coaxed him into going for "another one." Basically, Magenta is indirectly crediting one of its rivals for making Gronkowski and Brady's Tampa Bay reunion and the Buccaneers' road to only their second ever Super Bowl game possible, which... might not be exactly what was intended here.
Speaking of something else, Verizon
is teasing a Super Bowl commercial
that's likely to carry a very different tone and actually air on Sunday. Then again, the "Un-carrier" has at least one more spot up its sleeve too, and it remains to be seen if Big Red will be under attack some more in the next 48 hours or so.