Straight Talk enlists actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan for new ads

Straight Talk Wireless, a Verizon prepaid brand sold exclusively at Walmart, announced a new ad campaign featuring actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan.

The timing couldn’t be better. Straight Talk recently released new discounted family plans, which Gaffigan, who happens to be a father of five, is pitching as part of this new ad campaign. Gaffigan’s new stand-up special, “Dark Pale,” is now showing on Amazon Prime.

A Straight Talk spokesperson confirmed Gaffigan is the new spokesperson for Straight Talk but declined to disclose contractual details about how long the relationship is expected to last. The two had been in discussions for several months “while determining the optimal timing” to coincide with the launch of the new family plans, the spokesperson said.

The new spot marks Straight Talk’s first live-action campaign in four years. Straight Talk was acquired by Verizon through the TracFone transaction in 2021.

“Jim's comedy and work ethic embodies who our customer is: observant, hard-working, a little bit skeptical of something that might seem too good to be true, and loves to talk about their family,” said Cheryl Gresham, chief marketing officer of the Verizon Value organization, in a statement. “We immediately thought of Jim as the perfect partner to explain the value in our new plans and to do it in a really entertaining way.”

The creative is developed by ad agency FCB NY and shows Gaffigan interacting with various shoppers inside a Walmart and telling them to “use your loved ones to save money on wireless.” The 30-second video is airing on all major networks/platforms, according to the carrier.

“Straight Talk makes life easier and simpler for people with large families like mine, or even people with lots of friends who feel like family,” Gaffigan said in a statement. “The commercials we made inside Walmart stores were hilarious. Working with Straight Talk was fun and joining them on a campaign that helps people save more money is the cherry on top.”

Last month, Straight Talk announced that it’s now offering new family plans with discounted rates for adding one or more additional lines. Prior to that, customers could add lines, but there was no discount.

Jeff Moore, principal of Wave7 Research, told Fierce at the time that the new offer provides a decent savings over what Straight Talk previously offered and that it will attract more families to the brand. He also noted that wireless is getting more competitive at Walmart whereas the opposite is happening at Best Buy.

Something to talk about

The addition of Gaffigan is interesting because in recent months, Straight Talk has been running ads with a generic animated stand-up comedian. “That’s been going on since April,” Moore told Fierce today.  

“Now that they’ve launched family plan pricing, they have something to really talk about,” Moore said, noting that another MVNO, Consumer Cellular, has featured actor Ted Danson in its ads. In previous years, Straight Talk ads featured the voice of Ed O’Neill, who portrayed Al Bundy in “Married… with Children.”

“I think Straight Talk is really getting serious,” Moore said. It's somewhat of a new-ish twist for Verizon, which for many years before the TracFone acquisition was not a big player in prepaid.