AdMiration feature: Mint Mobile’s “55+ Plan”

Isa Franzini, Kim Malcolm & Kelsey Sullivan

For this week’s AdMiration feature, we researched Mint Mobile’s “55+ Plan” ad. Mint Mobile’s brand is a true standout in the US telco category, always delivering consistent and distinctive brand assets that resonate very well with consumers. 

Read on to get our 3-2-1 snapshot of the ad (3 facts, 2 learnings and 1 reflection) and learn how the ad was received based on our data.

The ad: Mint Mobile’s “55+ Plan”

The ad opens to actor Ryan Reynolds looking much older than his current age, who lets the audience know the year is 2031. He shares that this is the year he finally qualifies for Mint 55+, which he goes on to explain is an exclusive plan for people “his age” at $15 per month with full service activation. 

He then looks around and sees the same mint green screen background (present in most Mint Mobile ads today) and says, “Really? Nothing’s changed?” Suddenly, a UFO appears on screen and starts shooting laser beams, to which Ryan responds with a typical sarcastic comment about how that will really fool the audience. The ad closes with a reminder of the cost of the plan and a link to get more information.

3-2-1 snapshot

3 facts

  • The ad scores in the top 10% of all US telco ads in potential to drive immediate sales and build brand equity in the long-term. 

  • It is extremely well branded with the vast majority of the audience correctly recalling that the ad was for Mint, believing it to be highly unique and differentiated. 

  • Consumers absolutely loved how simple and clear the message of the ad is and the fact Ryan Reynolds delivers it; driving a very strong uplift in consideration for the brand.

2 learnings

  • An ad can be interesting without being complex. Simplicity can drive engagement and clarity — it’s all about making sure there is enough storytelling to draw people in.

  • With the right fit and brand linkage, a celebrity can become an excellent spokesperson and eventually a highly valuable and unique brand asset. 

1 reflection

Is your advertising consistent and familiar enough to be instantly recognizable and drive brand salience and sales? Finding the right assets that can be ownable, immediately recognizable and resonant for the brand as early as possible, then using them in creative and fresh ways over time is a great way to build a brand and achieve strong ROI. 

Consistency can also drive a sense of trust and reliability among consumers, which in turn encourages further brand consideration.

Watch us walk through the data in the Zappi platform
A deep dive into the ad’s performance

Mint Mobile’s ad was extremely effective when we explored its performance within the telco vertical. It's funny, sticks to the brand's usual format, and has strong distinctive brand assets (plus, people are prepared to buy anything Ryan Reynolds sells).

The ad scored in the top 10% of all US telco ads in both Sales Impact (96) and Brand Impact (93), an extremely high score in both areas for a telco ad.

What's working (and what's not) in telco advertising

As we highlighted in our blog about telco advertising, even the most successful telco ads struggle to compete with ads across some food and QSR categories.

Additionally, over 75% of viewers correctly recalled the brand. The ad scored significantly above the norm for ad distinctiveness (3.8 vs 3.4 norm) as well as uniqueness of brand impressions (3.8 vs 3.5 norm), with about a third of viewers saying it could only be for Mint Mobile.

It’s worth noting that telco ads tend to struggle with branding. Audiences are less likely to remember the brand advertised in a telco ad compared to other ads and there is a general lack of established distinctive brand assets (DBAs) in the category. 

But this isn’t the case for Mint Mobile! The brand consistently delivers well-branded content that is unique and completely different from the rest of the category. This “55+ Plan” ad features a very prominent and instantly recognizable “mint green” background that most Mint Mobile ads have and Ryan Reynolds has become an iconic asset for Mint Mobile, once again starring as the protagonist in their ad. 

With simple and clear messaging, the ad drives a very strong uplift in consideration for the brand (29% vs 21% norm). And almost 90% of people said the message that “Mint Mobile offers an exclusive plan for people over 55 with full service activation” was delivered clearly.

Younger adults (under 35) found the ad more humorous than older adults (45+) with a 19% laughter reaction vs 10%. However, older adults (understandably) found the ad to be more relevant. 

The audience generally liked how clear and concise the ad was, as well as the humorous tone it used to convey information about an affordable and reliable mobile plan. There was a lot of love for Ryan Reynolds coming through spontaneous mentions about what people liked about the ad, which was also visible on the celebrity appeal score (4.2 vs 3.8 norm).

Here’s what some respondents had to say: 

  • "I like that the ad was simple and not overstimulating with sounds and visuals. It clearly got its purpose across while being amusing to watch."

  • "I liked that Ryan Reynolds was their spokesman because he seems honest and reputable. This makes me more likely to trust the brand. I also liked how straightforward it was."

  • "I love the ads as a whole, I also liked the fact that it offers its package at an affordable price as well as a reliable network."

  • "I like Ryan Reynolds, the humor is great. The simplicity of the brand and the message is clear and straightforward. It's funny."

  • "I like that Mint Mobile has a specific plan for people ages 55 and older that is very cheap for them.”

Everything consumers found to be great about this ad can easily be seen in most Mint Mobile ads, making it the most impactful brand when it comes to advertising in the US telco category. 

Since acquiring a significant share of Mint Mobile, Ryan Reynolds has massively impacted the brand’s perception and advertising strategy with consistent DBAs and clear messaging delivered in a lighthearted tone. Now owned by T-Mobile, the brand continues to lean on Reynolds for creative direction, which is undeniably the right move for the brand given its success over the years. 

Wrapping up

Overall, the audience enjoyed the simplicity and clear messaging within the ad, and of course, seeing a familiar (and favorite) celebrity deliver that message. The ad was also a great lesson in brand consistency and DBAs, which resonated very well with the audience. 

What did you think? Let us know by interacting with our coverage of the ad on LinkedIn.

To make sure you never miss one of our AdMiration analyses, subscribe to our LinkedIn newsletter.

🔍 Report: State of Creative Effectiveness

Want more content on how to create better ads? Download our State of Creative effectiveness report.

Subscribe to our newsletter