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Verizon’s ‘Can you hear me now?’ guy switches sides, now works for Sprint

We are still hearing him over a decade later.


Posted on Jun 6, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 4:08 pm CDT

The “can you hear me now?” actor from Verizon’s iconic decade-old ads is now starring in Sprint commercials. Paul Marcarelli, only distinguishable from his younger self by the color of his shirt, was back on TV last night during the NBA Finals. This time, instead of showing off Verizon’s coverage, Marcarelli was touting how almost-as-good and much less expensive Sprint is when compared to his former employer.

The ad, which is nothing more than Marcarelli walking down a street, starts off with his introduction, “Hey I’m Paul, and I used to ask if you could hear me now with Verizon. Not anymore, I’m with Sprint now.” He even claims that every network is pretty great, not something a lot of people in the United States would agree with (also not a bad thing to say if he ever wants to jump ship again). 

Marcarelli claims Sprint’s reliability to be within one percent of Verizon, whatever that might mean. Sprint is basing that claim on its analysis of drive test data from Nielsen, covering the top 106 metropolitan markets in the U.S. That shouldn’t be a surprise, coverage in major metro areas for most carriers is quite strong. It starts getting ugly for those who live outside major cities.

If you are not familiar with Marcarelli’s former role at Verizon then a quick Youtube search will catch you up. The actor played a technician that went to remote places asking the person on the other end of his call if they could hear him. Probably not something as many people care about now-a-days. Maybe “did you get that Snap?” would be more appropriate. In any case, Sprint, a company that just got pushed to last place among the major four carriers is sending a message to Verizon, and doesn’t look afraid to trade a few punches along the way.

H/T USA Today

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*First Published: Jun 6, 2016, 3:51 am CDT