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Posts Tagged ‘AT&T’

Multiple Brand Commercials Come Together to Form Powerful Autism Awareness PSA

In an effort to round out Autism Awareness month with a powerful (yet still brand-centered) message, advertising agency BBDO New York has created three separate commercial spots for clients Band-Aid, Campbell’s Soup and AT&T, which, when viewed together, combine to form a PSA about the difference that early diagnosis can make in the life of a child with autism.

The series of spots, which first aired together during Monday’s CNN’s News Day, opens with a brief message from Autism Speaks, which says, “Learn the early signs of autism today. Because an early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference.” The viewer then watches a young boy with autism grow up over the course of three fifteen-second, brand-sponsored clips — his mother applies a Band-Aid to his injured knee as a toddler; he takes a hearty bite of Campbell’s soup as a growing boy; he receives a device powered by AT&T as a high school graduate.

The project works well and is quietly powerful because the situations pictured are brief, relatable, and feel exceptionally real — this appears to be an ordinary family living their ordinary lives, but it’s through everyday scenarios that extraordinary progress is made, and extraordinary love is felt; such is the case in all of our lives. Furthermore, the brand integration feels seamless because the common, everyday products pictured are often staples of a child-rearing household, so the brand messages do not disrupt the greater message or feel shoehorned in. Read more

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3 Experts Explain How Brands Can Avoid a Sochi Games #PRFail

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Lots of brands obviously want to promote during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. But they also want to avoid what happened to Coke and McDonald’s, which got a lot of bad press after gay-rights activists criticized their campaigns and hijacked the #CheerstoSochi hashtag in protest of Russia’s new anti-gay laws.

AT&T, on the other hand, just made news for becoming the first major company to actively speak out against those same laws and pressure other brands to do the same.

So how can brands create Olympics campaigns without running into the troubles encountered by Coke and McD’s? We talked to three PR and social media experts to get their opinions.

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T-Mobile CEO Totally Planned to Get Kicked Out of That AT&T Party

l_d5gZnoToday in More Execs Behaving Badly news, T-Mobile CEO John Legere got all cute last night by attending a Consumer Electronics Show party for competitor AT&T armed with his hot pink company shirt and proceeded to get himself removed from the premises. Party foul, bro!

After spoiling the scene, Legere took the opportunity to tell a Re/code reporter who just happened to be in attendance that he “could have cut prices quite a bit with all the money AT&T spent” on the party.

He also called the venue’s security guards “gigantic goons” and claimed that he only showed up to hear Macklemore (because he may well resemble a 15-year-old girl in a certain light).

In case you didn’t think this was an intentional stunt, check out Legere’s Twitter feed, in which he shares sentiments like this one:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a badass. His story is so cool, it made us want to throw our phone away. And we use Verizon!

The CEO of Blue Fountain Media On Creating a Successful Digital Agency

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian has come a long way from his humble beginnings. The CEO of Blue Fountain Media was a web designer armed with a laptop and not much else when he arrived in the Big Apple in 2001.

Now, 12 years later, that digital agency has over 200 employees and is raking in $2 billion in revenue with clients like AOL and AT&T. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about his journey to success:

You say the site you planned and designed for AT&T does about $100,000 per second. And the site you did for the Green Bay Packers did $200 million in four days. When you started your company, having no idea how successful it would become, did you have any doubts?
There was a point when I was starting out when my friend was doing really well in real estate, and I was struggling to meet my month-to-month expenses. I told him, “Maybe I should do what you do.” He goes, “Well, if you want to come over, we could use someone, but, I see you love what you do. Stick with it.” It was great advice. Do what you love, stick with it. Be patient. I think patience is what’s lacking amongst young people today. Things take time. That’s the best advice that I’ve got. [My company] didn’t happen overnight.

I get emails from LinkedIn all the time from guys that are trying to start businesses… And they’re asking me, how did you do it? What advice do you have for me? I tell them: I constantly invested. I reinvested back into BFM. I led a very humble life for many, many years. And I tell them, look, just do great work. Do good work for your clients.

To hear more from Shaoolian, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

When Sponsored Content Met CSR and Made Magic Happen

Matt Crenshaw, Mother Nature Network

One thing we can all agree on: PR professionals will spend a lot of time working on sponsored content and corporate social responsibility projects for the foreseeable future.

“Sponsored content” is the hottest phrase in PR and marketing right now, primarily because it means such different things to different people. Yes, it’s a new twist on the classic advertising discipline, but SC can clearly amount to more than BuzzFeed listicles barely related to the product at hand or conspicuous blog posts that hang out at The Huffington Post under the “sponsored story” heading.

Last month we spoke to Matt Crenshaw, president of environmental and social responsibility news site Mother Nature Network, to learn about how his organization has begun to serve clients by combining CSR and sponsored content in one fell swoop.

Why are brands increasing their focus on CSR? 

Well, a recent Cone Communications study found that 80% of people feel that brands have a responsibility to tell them what they’re doing for the greater good, and another study found that brands that put “values” at their core outperform the S&P 500 by about 300%. We all joke about Whole Foods being “Whole Paycheck”, but they are really a lifestyle platform based on “values”, and they’ve done a great job of taking this niche movement and making a big business out of it.

What role can sponsored content play in this equation?

We live in an age where brands need to tell a story and hit you on an emotional level. MNN wants to be the Whole Foods for content: if you’re AT&T and you want to reach the high-value, socially responsible consumer, then you don’t talk about a discount on your phone, you talk about these tablets you created for kids on the autistic spectrum to help them learn. So MNN created a documentary series about it:

Of course, at the end it’s “AT&T: Rethink Possible”, and it’s clearly labeled “content provided by AT&T“, but our role is to say “here’s the story behind the brand.”

Read more

AT&T CEO Issues Apology for 9/11 Promo Tweet

Lots of brands released tweets of questionable taste accompanied by the #NeverForget tag and 9/11 references yesterday, but no one received as much flack as AT&T, which posted an image of the “Tribute in Light” as seen through the camera on its smartphone. The brand obviously takes its reputation seriously, because today Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson issued a statement of apology:

Many in the PR and marketing communities found the original message to be relatively tame despite the general outrage that consumed Twitter for a few hours. So what about the apology: did he need to make it? Will it be enough?

T-Mobile Partners with Major League Baseball, Hawks Opening Day Tickets

T-Mobile Major League Baseball PartnershipWhile scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, the first thing to jump out at this Boston Red Sox fan (Did I just alienate half our readers? Hello? Are you still there?) was a promoted tweet from T-Mobile that read:

Intrigued, I followed the link to a sweepstakes-entrance Facebook page run by T-Mobile, which announces in the wireless provider’s familiar pink, white, and black: “T-Mobile takes the field as the official wireless partner of Major League Baseball.” At first, still in my early morning/longing-for-baseball-season stupor, I just scrolled down to check out the entrance form. A few sips of tea later, the PR-oriented part of my brain kicked in and said, “Wait, what?”

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6 Brands Taking Social Media Strategy Beyond Facebook

SephoraWe found ourselves intrigued by last week’s Forbes post on “Why Facebook Can’t Be the Center of Your Social Strategy”, because we’re fairly certain that every PR/marketing pro would love to work with a social media platform less infuriating than the big FB—a platform that grants brands a little more in the way of control and allows reps to more clearly demonstrate the benefits of a given project to clients.

According to author Rob Tarkoff of Lithium Technologies, some of the most socially successful brands have moved beyond Facebook by establishing their own “on-domain customer communities”. In other words, they encourage fans to participate in social media forums located within their own websites.

Tarkoff writes that “The most cutting-edge B2B and B2C brands are placing bets on on-domain, owned, social media hubs where they can control the brand, guide the experience, and drive real business outcomes.”

Sounds great–so who are they? We’ve chosen to highlight six:

  1. American Idol
  2. Sephora
  3. American Express
  4. Google AdWords
  5. BMW
  6. Starbucks

Click through for details on each.

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Mitt Romney and the Dangers of Automated Messaging

We can understand why the Romney/Ryan campaign might forget to cancel the obviously automated publication of its official victory website after Tuesday’s election. In this case, the team’s oversight inspired little more than snickering and/or sadness among observers. But it also serves as a useful example of the headaches that automated content, messages and responses can create for PR teams.

Automation can be a great tool, especially in the world of social media. But real-world circumstances change quickly, and a failure to re-align one’s messages in the moment can amount to a big PR fail. Let’s review some recent examples:

  • Progressive Insurance responded to a massive PR headache (taking a deceased client’s estate to court to contest benefits) by…sending out a series of automated responses on Twitter. There’s no better way to confirm your status as a heartless corporation than by responding to tragedy with robotic corporate messages. You can type “our heart goes out to…” all you want, but members of the public are surprisingly adept at calling out this sort of thing.

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AT&T Eyeballing Smaller Wireless Companies

Because there hasn’t been enough weirdness in wireless news, it’s being reported that analysts predict Leap and Metro PCS may be taken over by one of the monolithic carriers.

Businessweek says AT&T and T-Mobile USA are eyeing the smaller pay-as-you-go wireless companies because the AT&T/T-Mobile merger fell through this month amid antitrust problems. Vision2mobile.com also writes that the deal would be more likely to get approval. Metro PCS, based in Texas, has 9 million subscribers and Leap, 5.7 million. T-Mobile, by comparison, is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., with 33 million subscribers.

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