AT & T Launches Broadband Ad Pitch

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AT & T Corp. used the pomp and circumstances of the Olympic Games opening' ceremonies earlier this month to launch a new $50 million corporate-image campaign designed to reinforce the term "broadband" with consumers.

New York-based Young & Rubicam Inc. created the new spots with the help of several production houses, including New York-based studio Miss Jones.

The new spots banish the familiar ampersand, replacing the AT & T tag with att.com. They also add a new element to the blue and white AT & T globe, changing it into "a logo in action," said AT & T corporate spokesman Burke Stinson.

In one spot, for example, a blue-and-grey Jiffy Pop style popcorn bag turns into the AT & T globe.

"It took on a life of its own," Stinson said of the logo's various roles in the campaign. AT & T wanted to create a campaign that was fun and conveyed the message of speed.

The ad agencies involved were given virtual carte blanche in creating the new look and feel of the company, Stinson said, adding that the agencies were told "they could be unfettered by AT & T traditions."

The campaign's goal is to co-opt the term "broadband" in consumers' minds before another company has the chance to do so, as well as to change consumers' view of the telecommunications giant.

"There will always be people who know AT & T only as a domestic long-distance company," Stinson admitted. "But for people with less rigidity, this campaign will let us do what we want-put our fingerprints on an emerging word-broadband."

Stinson said it's too early to tell if the spots have broken through the clutter and made an impression in viewers' minds. AT & T plans to run the ads at least through the end of the year.

The next generation of spots in the campaign may add "flesh and blood" to the concept of broadband, Stinson said, adding, "we're talking about a word-broadband-where nine out of 10 people don't know what it is."

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