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Big Bad Chad

A note on the Alltel pitchman's popularity

Phil Harvey

October 9, 2007

1 Min Read
Big Bad Chad

NOON -- Alltel's Chad has more friends than you do.

More MySpace friends anyway. More than 3,600.

If Geico's caveman commercials spawned a TV series, what will Hollywood do with Alltel's trendy cool-guy pitchman, Chad?

I'm just curious. The cavemen weren't particularly funny, but someone in desperate need of an idea took a liking to them. The Chad from Alltel spots are also a miss, but it wouldn't shock me in the least to see Chad handing out Oscars or greeting heads of state, given how perversely integrated advertising is becoming with everything else.

The Alltel Chad campaign has hatched enough elaborate online gimmicks to show that clearly lots of effort is going into making insufferably smug Chad as ubiquitous as that irksome "Can you hear me now?" guy from Verizon.

If MySpace statistics are an indicator of anything but time truly wasted, Chad's future is very bright, even if his TV spots are a bore.

— Phil Harvey, Barely Managing Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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