BEDMINSTER, NJ: AT&T has launched an aggressive global brand and marketing campaign designed to show it isn't just a phone company anymore.
The $200 million multimedia advertising effort and PR push will reach out to residential, business and government customers, as well as AT&T's own employees, to educate them about the vast array of services the company offers.
"We knew who we are and where we are going, but our research found that there was enormous confusion outside the company, as well as with our own employee base," said Connie Weaver, EVP of PR, marketing and brand. "We wanted to declare who we are, and where we are going, and our value proposition, and what differentiates us from the competition."
Weaver said many people don't realize that AT&T carries more IP traffic than anyone else in North America. To play this up, the company is being described in the business portion of the branding campaign as "the world's networking company."
"We are blessed with a fabulous brand, and we wouldn't give that up for anything," Weaver said. "But given the history of the industry, there are those who clearly think of us as a long-distance company and a phone company."
Aside from wanting to more clearly distinguish the depth and breadth of AT&T's offerings, the campaign is also a reflection of the recent hard times facing the telecommunications industry.
"If you look at our industry over the last few years, it has not had the most sterling history," she said, referring to the WorldCom scandal and other financial debacles AT&T will be working with its usual stable of agencies, including Sloane & Co., which works across a variety of areas.