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T-Mobile Spokeswoman Gets a Makeover

Claudine Zap

Nice gals finish last. That must be the thinking behind T-Mobile's new ad, which trades its sweet brunette's pink frock for head-to-toe-leather, adding the tagline "No More Mr. Nice Girl."

Carly Foulkes, who has starred as the popular pink-clad actress in the T-Mobile ads since 2010, has been called a "DVR-proof pitch personality." The new look comes on the heels of the No. 4 cellphone carrier's loss of more than 800,000 customers following a failed takeover bid by AT&T. T-Mobile, it seems, is seeking to reinvent itself. 

Even though T-Mobile, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, is the smallest mobile provider, and still doesn’t carry the iPhone, it's managed to make a big statement with Foulkes as the only recognizable spokesperson for a mobile brand.

When the ads first appeared in 2010, the Web buzzed about the actress, searching for "t-mobile spokesperson," "t-mobile commercial woman, "t-mobile girl," and "t-mobile girl name." 

The ads were a huge hit because the leggy star seemed approachable and recognizable in her rose-colored get-up, with a new spin on the all-white background of an Apple ad -- but with a punch of playful pink.

This time around, the customer defections from 2011 mean it’s time for change. It’s the same actress with an edgier look.

T-Mobile VP for brand Peter DeLuca, speaking to Advertising Age, noted that they want customers to take another look at the company. "Before she was this approachable character; now we need to show the other side: She wants speed. I have to communicate as a challenger that we have 4G."

The "Alter Ego" spot shows Foulkes in her usual bubblegum-hued dress, unhappily pawing through her fuchsia-filled wardrobe until she finds what she's looking for. Off comes the dress and on comes the all-black biker leather (with pink highlights, natch). She then hops on her matching motorcycle and rides off –- think Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. The ad asks viewers to "test-drive" its network. Get it?

Expect to see the ads everywhere -- T-Mobile said it plans to spend $200 million on advertising and will place the commercials on cable TV, Hulu, mobile, and YouTube, in addition to its print campaigns.

The video has already gone viral: In just one day on the Web, the spot received more than 55,000 views. 

T-Mobile's new commercial.