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This week’s social media win or fail is brought to us courtesy of Cricket Wireless. Cricket Wireless is a prepaid cell phone company owned by AT&T. But by looking at the branding and marketing, you might never known that it was owned by AT&T becuase it has a very different vibe.

Prepaid wireless customers tend to be young and of a lower income (not always the case) than the typical contract customers of the major carriers. This means that their branding and marketing gets to be different and by different I mean lots of fun. Cricket can get away with a lot of different types of marketing because of this, like this weeks campaign: Surprise John Cena.

First a little background. John Cena is a WWE wrestler and recently a reality TV show host (American Grit). John Cena has become, as he describes it, “A sometimes annoying internet meme”. Here is a sampler of some of these “Unexpected John Cena” memes, some of which are pretty hilarious:

The general description: take something from popular culture and interject Cena’s wrestling intro before someone introduces something else. That Batman one though! There are hundreds of the Unexpected John Cena Memes across social media platforms and a quick look on youtube, you easily count 45 million views!

Here is where we bring  Cricket back in. Cricket saw an opportunity for marketing in that meme. Cricket wireless has the budget and branding to do something crazy like, bring John Cena is do to a real life ‘Unexpected John Cena”! Cricket Wireless brought in real John Cena fans to pretend to be auditioning to be Cena’s introduction for their new campaign. Here is the video:

The series of 5 videos has 15 million views on Youtube alone. 11 million on Facebook with  138k shares! This campaign was created by Shareability. This is an agency to keep an eye one for viral campaigns.

Cricket continues to expand  this campaign by placing preroll ads for their phone plans Youtube videos different “unexpected John Cena” videos. Brilliant extension of the campaign. These ads seem to be pretty straight forward call to action. One small improvement would be to customize those ads for that audience possibly do a contest for a meet and greet with Cena.

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This is without a doubt a social media win! Way to go Cricket, Shareability, and JOHN CENA!


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