In promoting a new calling plan this spring, U.S. Cellular wanted to reach college-age consumers and speak to them on their own terms. While normally that might mean convening focus groups, commissioning surveys and poring over market-research reports, the Chicago company's youth-focused ad agency, G Whiz, decided instead to listen to what their potential customers were saying on their blogs.

The feedback showed Harris just how attached young adults are to their phones. They complained about unwanted calls that drag on and on, eating into their minutes and forcing them to turn off their phones toward the end of their billing cycles, leaving them feeling isolated from their friends. G Whiz quickly crafted four TV spots that played off those themes. In one, a man in his early 20s has to listen to one of his buddies who calls from a concert and holds the phone up for him to hear the music. On-screen copy reads: “With U.S. Cellular, you get Unlimited Call Me minutes. So even when people waste your time, they don't waste your money.”

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