The telecom world is buzzing about the latest promotional video from T-Mobile and its iconoclastic CEO John Legere—a new product pitch with an extra helping of snark and humor. It’s a strong takedown of the usual stereotypes that marketers appeal to when they’re targeting older tech consumers.
Legere describes T-Mobile’s new 55-plus plan and in the process mocks the way the telecom giants see olders.
No data? Big buttons?
Using language that’s usually considered inappropriate for or objectionable to people over 30, Legere, who’s 59, points out that the 55-plus age cohort invented wireless and calls other senior plans “insulting” and “degrading at the highest level” for assuming that seniors need dumbed-down devices. Older consumers spend an average of 149 minutes a day on their smartphones, he claims—about as many minutes as smartphone-obsessed Millennials, who spend 171 minutes per day.
Sure, some people need phones with big buttons due to arthritis or other physical issues—but older people are not a monolithic group, he says.
In a press release that accompanies his vlog, Legere says that older consumers tend to be extraordinarily loyal customers who first signed up for mobile plans when the Big Two were the only options in town. “For years the carriers have been patronizing the generation that invented wireless,” he says. “They thank these mobile pioneers by selling dumbed down ‘senior’ plans…. That’s not just idiotic—it’s insulting!” He makes it clear that T-Mobile sees a business opportunity in inviting millions of older smartphone users to switch.
A quick spin through T-Mobile’s YouTube archives shows that Legere’s salty language is no mere marketing gimmick—and yes, the company will check IDs to make sure that you’re 55+ and older.
What do you think of Legere’s in-your-face promotion? Refreshing? Off-putting? Share your views in the comments below!