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Boost Mobile switches Berlin Cameron agency for 180 LA

Sprint Nextel's Boost Mobile prepaid wireless division has tapped 180 LA as its new marketing agency of record for a fresh branding push.

The agency will create integrated marketing and branding campaigns using channels such as television, print, out-of-home and radio. The idea is to build Boost's brand.

"The mandate is to provide integrated marketing campaigns that are first and foremost media-neutral -- start with the idea and then identify the best way to deliver it to our target demographic," said Caralene Robinson, director of brand marketing and entertainment at Boost, Irvine, CA.

Billings were not disclosed.

The new agency replaced Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York, which held the account for five years. Its last campaign for Boost, titled "Anthem 2.0," began in December and will run through the end of spring.

"With our new agency, they'll have a briefing document on their desk before the end of the week, so we hope to have something [new in ads] this summer," Ms. Robinson said.

Berlin Cameron participated in the agency review that began in August and made the final round with New York-based kirshenbaum bond + partners, Attik, San Francisco, and 180 LA.

This is Boost's first new marketing agency of record after five years.

Boost reviewed more than 40 ad agencies and assigned actual projects to determine which made the cut.

Lifestyle boost
Based in Los Angeles, 180 LA handles clients such as adidas International, Bombay Sapphire, MTV, BMW Motorcycles, Amstel Beer, Glenfiddich, Omega Watches, Sony Corp. and Sony Consumer Electronics USA. The shop also has an office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The agency will work with MindShare, Boost's media agency of record and Freestyle Interactive, the client's interactive agency of record. It will also collaborate with other marketing firms helping Boost.

"Boost is a youth lifestyle brand and as such I feel a responsibility to perform what I call lifestyle audits because we really want to stay abreast of what's happening with young people," Ms. Robinson said.

"So, with that said, we wanted to see an agency out there that could help us continue do interesting lifestyle advertising," she said.

Indeed, positioned as a youth lifestyle brand, Boost offers mobile phones and services with no contracts, credit checks or activation fees.

The Boost Walkie-Talkie service is available nationwide at nearly 17,500 retail and independent wireless dealer locations and Re-Boost at about 100,000 locations.

Boost has 4.6 million customers, most of them under 26 years.

The agency switchover and the new campaign in the summer also address a key challenge that wireless brands face.

"We're in the prepaid space," Ms. Robinson said. "The wireless category is extremely competitive. And so we have a real opportunity to capture the remaining growth in the prepaid space, while at the same time differentiating ourselves from the other brands in the category.

"I think we've done that," she said, "and I think we're going to continue doing that."