- Prepaid cellular carrier Mint Mobile, which is partly owned by "Deadpool" actor Ryan Reynolds, is giving away three months of service to people who sign up during the Super Bowl, per information shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Mint Mobile announced the deal in a full-page ad in the New York Times showing an "announcemint" from Reynolds, who also subscribes to the service. Instead of spending more than $5 million "to advertise in a game so expensive I can't even mention its name lest we summon its army of lawyers," Mint Mobile is putting money into the free offer, Reynolds says in the ad. He posted a picture of the ad to his Instagram account, which has 35 million followers.
- The deal will go live at 3:15 p.m. PT on Sunday, 15 minutes before kickoff, and ends when the game wraps up. The free offer applies to a Mint Mobile prepaid plan that normally costs $15 a month for three gigabytes of data, unlimited talk and text, a free mobile hotspot and WiFi calling and text, per the company's website.
Mint Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that relies on T-Mobile's cellular infrastructure for nationwide reach, is among the brands that are running counter-programming campaigns timed with the Super Bowl, although they're not allowed to use the copyrighted term in their advertising.
The ambush campaign not only aims to take advantage of the massive publicity surrounding the Super Bowl, which typically is the most-watched event of the year, but also leverages Reynolds' celebrity as the star of many movies including the hit "Deadpool" franchise. Reynolds also has appeared in ads for Aviation Gin, a spirits brand that he has partly owned since mid-2018. Like Mint Mobile, Aviation Gin has run off-beat campaigns like its recent parody of a controversial Peloton commercial.
Mint Mobile isn't the only brand with a counter-programmed campaign during this year's Super Bowl. GlaxoSmithKline's Tums brand of antacids this week unveiled a sweepstakes that asks Twitter users to rate moments during the big game that give them the most heartburn, such as fumbles, food or commercial breaks. Frank's RedHot, a brand of hot sauce marketed by McCormick, is livestreaming a game show on Twitter during the Super Bowl. Such social media campaigns may help to stand out from the crowd of Super Bowl sponsors while engaging audiences who "second-screen" on mobile devices.