Cricket Case Study

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The Democratization of Wireless Phones

How Cricket Wireless partnered with Johnson Group to lead the dramatic change in communication culture by being the first brand to bring wireless phones to the masses.


Flashback to 2000 when:

YEAR 2000
Wireless phone penetration was < 50%.

YEAR 2000
No one was texting and driving.
(But we did have other bad habits.)

YEAR 2000
Everyone had landline home phones.


Convince the population with the least disposable income and challenged
credit that they too should have wireless phone service.


Johnson Group worked with Cricket to develop the “Comfortable Wireless” brand positioning.

The iconic, comfortable, green couch was always featured outside to reinforce that Cricket
was not a cordless phone, but a real wireless phone.

The brand aligned with “normal people,
like me.”
The brand aligned with credit challenged people.
The brand aligned with families with teens.
Remember, this was at a time when giving your teen a phone was like giving them your ATM PIN.


It started with two blue-collar workers, one admittedly with bad credit (a market ignored by all other brands), talking about how simple it is to own Cricket.

The brand grew to include all underserved populations.

The Cricket Couch became a well-recognized icon and placed in venues and
events across the country.

The Cricket brand met the market where they lived, worked, and played.

We negotiated and bought the parking meters for a day in the inner cities where we launched the brand.

We advertised on the bus routes where our market lived.

We sponsored and refurbished venues in the investment zones of our markets.

Cricket offered the first “phone in a box” concept.

Led by an army of Crickets, Johnson Group helped Cricket start the “cut the cord” revolution.

Cricket in Pop Culture

Invented the concept of
“cut the cord.”

“Cricket is the POLICE.” Cricket was believed to be owned by the police to track the drug trade.

Cricket was the first
“burner phone.”

The Cricket Couch was frequently stolen and displayed at fraternity houses and parties.

Pioneered the use (and complete bastardization) of the term “unlimited” as the first to offer unlimited talk, followed by unlimited long distance, unlimited texting and unlimited music.


Johnson Group helped Cricket launch their brand and a cultural movement
in 42 markets across the U.S.