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Sprint is locked in a heated battle with Verizon and AT&T, a situation that got more challenging  with AT&T’s planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile. Sprint’s secret weapon? It happens to be Veatrice Henson, a Missouri resident who is turning 100 this year. As part of a new ad campaign starting today, Sprint is encouraging its customers to reach out to the woman in order to wish her a happy birthday in the spirit of what it is calling “Random Acts of TogethernessTM.

Sprint is tracking the well wishes on its Web site, and notes that it will help Veatrice respond to the messages. That might be a tough job.

She’s already received more than 800 calls, more than 1,400 texts and more than 500 emails.

It is a clever idea to feature Veatrice, and you’ve got to admit it could be more appealing than hearing CEO Dan Hesse talking about “throttling.” (The main message  with the campaign continues to be the idea that Sprint Nextel offers unlimited data over its network, compared to rivals which have instituted caps).

Here’s a look at one of the first commercials, which is built around the tagline of “All Together. Now.” You’ll start seeing it on TV tonight, with a broad marketing push across online, social media and print.

Sprint has some challenges ahead in the mobile business, including figuring out how to move forward with its ownership stake in Kirkland-based Clearwire. The third-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., Sprint boasts 50 million customers in the U.S.

The company is hammering on the idea of unlimited data, not only through Veatrice but other advertisements as well..

“Get unlimited text, Web and calling. No overages, no metering, no worries,” says a message in one of the ads for the HTC EVO Shift.

[Via FierceWireless]

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