OVERLAND PARK, Kan. ? 06/29/2006 Aiming to rev the engines of both NASCAR and Will Ferrell fans alike, Sprint (NYSE:S) is releasing a series of original commercials featuring Will Ferrell, popular comedian and star of this summer's NASCAR-themed film "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," promoting Sprint's exclusive mobile content from the movie. As the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series™, Sprint is a leading promotional sponsor of the movie and the only sponsor creating original television ads and mobile content starring Ferrell. The first commercial will debut at the Pepsi 400, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 1, on Fox.
The commercials - produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and set to begin airing nationwide in early July - feature Ferrell in character as NASCAR driver and national hero Ricky Bobby, hanging out in an RV trailer splashed floor to ceiling with his sponsors' products and watching exclusive clips from his new movie on a Sprint Phone. Sprint and Chiat\Day worked closely with Ferrell and his long-time writing partner Adam McKay (writer/director for "Saturday Night Live" and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy") to ensure the spots truly reflected the character of Ricky Bobby.
"In these spots, Will Ferrell isn't promoting the exclusive movie content available on Sprint phones - Ricky Bobby is," said Mike Goff, vice president on national advertising at Sprint. "Just like any good NASCAR driver, Ricky is truly devoted to his team sponsors, and that comes through loud and clear in our commercials. What results is incredibly funny, but each spot clearly delivers the message that only Sprint customers can get this exclusive movie content on their wireless phones."
During the commercial shoot in May, Sprint also set up non-scripted scenarios, allowing Ferrell and McKay to improvise various off-the-wall situations involving Ricky Bobby. In one, he's talking to his friend Michael, a live chicken standing on the roof of his car. In another, he's posing for a glamour calendar. Taking footage from these improvised scenes, Sprint produced a variety of mobile video shorts that will be available to Sprint Vision customers at no additional charge for a limited promotional period, beginning July 1. Sprint also will offer custom Ricky Bobby Ringers, Call Tones and Telecard Greetings at $2.50 each.