Exploring the cost of advertising during the Super Bowl was a light bulb moment for Mint Mobile investor (2019) Ryan Reynolds: why not use the same amount of capital to provide the service for free? Mint Mobile is a low-cost cellphone provider, and rather than pay $5 million for a 30-second spot on Super Bowl Sunday, Reynolds decided to take out a $100,000 full-page ad in the New York Times and give away over 300,000 months of free service.
“We could literally give away over 300,000 months of free service and still save money. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.” As Reynolds explains it, “There’s something fascinating to me about creating a piece of content that’s shareable and acknowledges quite nakedly that it’s an ad. And it’s certainly more honest.”