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Optical/IP

Nextel's Yellow Peril

If you're anything like us, you'll have been driven to distraction by the rash of bright yellow billboard ads bearing the words "Do" or "Done" that have cropped up all over major metropoli in the U.S. over the last few weeks.

Irritating, aren't they?

We suspected that a wireless company was probably behind this stroke of marketing genius, when a large box containing a yellow T-Shirt screaming "I'm a Doer" [ed. note: now tastefully amended to "I'm a Wanker"] and a bunch of "Done" stickers arrived at Unstrung the other day. So, it wasn't that surprising that -- like the Wizard stepping out from behind the curtain -- Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL) revealed itself as the promotional perpetrator this week.

Yep, the wireless carrier is attempting to overhaul its image.

Here's what they say about the campaign in their marketing material:

"Yellow is the color of optimism, industry and action. It’s the color of done. And we own it."

The target audience for all this, Nextel chirps, are "Doers: People who start, finish and move onto the next thing." Evidently, "Don'ters" need not apply. [Ed. note: That noise you just heard was the sound of the copy editor collapsing at the inhumanity of it all.]

Leaving aside the questionable concept of actually owning a color, Unstrung notes associating your brand with yellow can cut both ways. A quick straw-poll in the office found that the plangent hue can also be connected with cowardice, jaundice, bile, renal exudation, really nasty leg warmers, and... and...

Wait. Could this be Nextel's target audience?

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

gilliatt 12/4/2012 | 11:23:52 PM
re: Nextel's Yellow Peril One of Nextel's big verticals is construction, and on the job site, yellow means DeWalt.
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