AT&T announced it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a $39 billion cash-and-stock deal that would make it the largest cellphone company in the U.S.
There are already outcries against the deal over concerns of an AT&T/Verizon duopoly and how that negatively affects consumer choice in the wireless marketplace. Twitter is atwitter with mocking comments such as @MattBinder‘s “Nothing says ‘we love our customers’ like airing commercials about how AT&T blows & then selling the company to them.”
Speaking of commercials, the biggest loss will be the end of Carly Foulkes as the T-mobile girl. Carly Foulkes, a Ralph Lauren model, stepped in to the role once held by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Of course having a beautiful model as a spokesperson is rarely a bad thing. But she’s also beautifully branded in T-Mobile magenta dresses—providing instant brand recognition.
As pointed out by @MattBinder and others, the T-Mobile ads consistently make fun of AT&T for it’s widely panned quality, dropped calls, and lack of 4G service. The commercials are witty, and effectively convey the message that T-Mobile has superior service at lower prices.
Without T-Mobile in the wireless ad rotation, we’re left with largely weak and bland ads from AT&T, Verizion, and Sprint. It might be a while until we must say that final goodbye to Carly Foulkes, the beautifully branded T-Mobile girl, but I’m already in mourning—and I’m considering wearing a PMS 214 dress to the funeral.