Verizon’s Visible just set off a war of words with T-Mobile’s Metro, and used Jason Alexander, better known as George Costanza of Seinfeld fame, to do it.
Visible, which is Verizon’s prepaid service geared towards younger customers, unveiled a new ad campaign with Alexander that took a direct shot at T-Mobile’s prepaid service, Metro, and its “Nada Yada Yada” campaign launched in August. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you know Alexander has some familiarity with the phrase, “yada, yada.”
Without ever naming the service Alexander pokes holes in Metro’s slogan, noting that “details matter” and touting Verizon’s no-yada prepaid service instead.
You know T-Mobile wasn’t going to let that go. In response, Metro fired off “an open letter to Jason Alexander” defending its service and firing off bards of its own at Visible “You’re aware that Visible is owned by Verizon, right? Because they’re like, the masters of yada yada with stuff like this, this and this. Just sayin’.”
It’s a recreation of the epic battles fought between T-Mobile and Verizon, only now done via their prepaid proxies. The back-and-forth underscores how competitive the wireless business has gotten even in the prepaid area, which traditionally doesn’t get as much attention because they tend to serve customers with lower credit scores and less willingness to spend.
But the fact that both Verizon and T-Mobile are going to such lengths speaks to the growing importance of prepaid, which is often a source for new customers at a time when many consumers are locked into one service or another.
The meta commercial features a fast-talking duo who are not so subtly supposed to be T-Mobile executives pitching an ad campaign idea to Alexander, which includes getting him back into his George costume. The actor turns around and calls them on their own fine print shenanigans, at which point the backdrops fall and it transforms into a Visible commercial.
Alexander called out “fine print” details from Metro like its activation fee and the need to get four people to sign up to unlock the $25-a-month offer, noting that Visible doesn’t have either and an individual can sign up for a $25 plan.
“When we saw Metro’s campaign, our team and partners at Madwell knew we had to call out the hypocrisy,” said Cheryl Gresham, chief marketing officer of Verizon Value. “While some might mistake Jason Alexander for someone who’s ok to ‘yada, yada, yada’ over the fine print based on characters he’s played, Jason Alexander, the actor, is honest. And like Visible, he doesn’t take it lightly – making him the perfect spokesperson for the leader in transparent wireless.”
Calling out a carrier on its “BS” is a page taken right out of the T-Mobile playbook. Metro even calls its “Nada Yada Yada” campaign its “no-BS promise.”
Metro quibbled with some of the details of the ad, noting that it does offer a $25-a-month unlimited data plan to individuals as a limited promotion (It’s $30 without the autopay discount). It also noted that Metro customers get access to the full 5G network, unless Visible, which requires you to buy a more expensive “plus” plan that gets access to Verizon’s faster 5G service powered by higher capacity millimeter wave spectrum. It also mocked the invisible nature of Visible, which doesn’t have any retail presence, and largely operates online and through an app.
Of course, Metro wasn’t going to get on Alexander’s bad side, and invited him to drop by a Metro store to chat.
“Because we can all agree life is better without the yada yada,” the lettter said.