If we know Steve Harvey, we knew the slip-up at the Miss Universe Pageant would not hold him back.
So it was no surprise to see him troll him self in a Super Bowl commercial. In wake of his inattentive announcement of the pageant winner, those in the marketing industry scoured to secure him as their poster child for the Big Game.
Harvey’s immediate and ethically admirable correction of his mis-announcement made for some of the best crisis communication we’ve seen in a while.
Appearing in a humorous imitation of a competitor’s recent commercial campaign, Harvey seeks to explain differences in carriers while using those rolling colorful balls we’re all familiar with from a late December Verizon commercial.
As the Verizon voice over starts, Harvey calls the advertisement to a halt to “apologize, again.” Except this time it is not for his own inaccuracy, rather for Verizon’s. Harvey humbly announces that Verizon's spot about T-Mobile is incorrect and the real ramp should actually be overflowing with T-Mobile's magenta balls for “doubling their coverage” in the last year.
*Queue* tons of fast rolling magenta balls.
As the balls come rolling in, overflowing from the table and flooding the stage, an illusion of “dropping the ball” is presented. Harvey shouts, “Uh-uh Verizon got it wrong, not me. Yes!” as he exits the stage and relinquishes responsibility.
Here is where T-Mobile executes what public relations is all about.
The spoof then announces #Ballogize. T-Mobile jumps to Twitter to invite their audience to join the conversation and share a time when they “dropped the ball”. Users joined the conversation and thus a relationship began. The brand gained 8,614,183 impressions from the hashtag in under 24 hours.
T-Mobile made light of their competitor's recent misrepresentation and paired it with the humility of Steve Harvey being able to admit and even joke about his own mistakes. The carrier was able to set the record straight by jumping on a current event that represented honesty above all and start a conversation about their brand.
The brand engaged their audience in what could lead to lasting relationships, because c'mon - it’s no secret we all feel like our carriers aren't exactly honest with us.