Verizon’s ‘Can you hear me now?’ guy is now selling us Sprint. This is wrong.

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Actor Paul Marcarelli, long Verizon's "Can you hear me?" guy, in new Sprint commercial.

Paul Marcarelli – an actor better known as the “Can you hear me now?” guy – spent nine years profiting from a Verizon ad campaign that made his face famous and that phrase a part of the lexicon. That gig ended in 2011.

Now he’s begun selling Sprint. In the new commercial he says he switched teams because Sprint’s service has become so wonderful. In real life, we all know he switched because Sprint is now helping him pay his bills. That’s fine. If AT&T had wanted Marcarelli’s services it would be the wonders of AT&T that the actor would be extolling on TV. Here’s the ad:

Now there’s absolutely nothing to criticize about an actor earning a living. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong here.

Where’s the beef?

Exactly. Imagine if the late actress Clara Peller, who made “Where’s the beef” famous in a Wendy’s commercial in 1984 – had started running around with Ronald McDonald. That would have been scandalous.  

Stephanie Courtney is Flo and Flo sells Progressive Insurance. Dean Winters is the mayhem guy and the mayhem guy wants us to buy Allstate. This is the natural order of things.  

And I mean what if The Most Interesting Man in the World – played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith – were to return from Mars and crack open a Budweiser?

See what I mean? Pretty soon we wouldn’t be able to believe everything we see on TV.

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