Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home Again & A New AT&T Advertising Campaign to Ponder

Well, we are back home in Chicago. It was great to see our family and friends in both Miami and Houston. Our Christmas was fantastic and we had a lot of good, quality family time, but I am happy to be back at home and back to work with my cats by my side (they missed us terribly and kept us up most of last night with snuggles and head butts).

During our recent travels, I couldn't help but notice the new worldwide AT&T campaign, "If we lived in a fantasy world...", that was all over the place in the four airports we visited (Chicago O'Hare, Reagan, Miami and Houston Bush). It was the one ad campaign that really caught my eye. AT&T launched this major campaign just in time for holiday travel. Smart move, AT&T, since travel is so heavy during this time. I must admit, I was relieved to see the hand campaign (seen here) had finally been retired. Don't get me wrong, it was a clever campaign, but it had run its course. Guaranteed I probably feel stronger about this retirement than most, since I worked for BBDO Atlanta during the launch of that campaign and stared meticulously at those ads for hours and hours on end.

So, my general thoughts about the new campaign...
  • It's eye catching with all of the bright, saturated colors. It definitely made me stop and look.
  • It's a fun idea and visually makes you use your imagination.
  • The illustrations are good. The concept has potential.
  • The media buying is superb! These ads are everywhere. I especially love the trashcan ads!
That is the positive, now for the more critical...
  • Other than the overall idea, and the way the headline is written there is absolutely NO visual consistency. Each illustration is strong on its own, but together I keep asking myself, "Do they work?" In my opinion, this doesn't lead to a strong, cohesive campaign.
  • The fonts are playful, which I respect, but again where is the consistency? (Maybe since it is based on fantasy this inconsistency is supposed to play into that idea?)
  • The whole idea is based on fantastical places, places that don't exist. So, does AT&T have me covered even in my imagination or is their coverage a fantasy? A slightly mixed message comes across. Maybe it's just me?
I just can't decide how I feel about it. What do you think? One thing I can admit. I am very inspired by the use of modern and playful illustration in a major advertising campaign, and the overload of media placement in all the airports.

*I took all the photos at O'Hare last night on my iPhone.

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