AT&T Campaign: "Rethink Possible"

To refocus the AT&T brand, the company is venturing into a new marketing campaign. With themes such as "Here's to possibilities," the "Rethink possible" campaign features optimism.

Without a focus on any particular product, AT&T is embarking on image advertising-a new approach for the conglomerate that began in April 2010. The commercial, below, is one part of AT&T's messaging.

Esther Lee, senior vice president for brand marketing, advertising, and sponsorship at AT&T in Dallas explained the company's strategy to The New York Times:

"'We did a lot of insight research about how people live with technology,' which included 'ethnographies, shop-alongs and spending time in people's living rooms.'

"When the 'Rethink possible' campaign was developed, most consumers 'felt overwhelmed with technology,' Ms. Lee said, but only a short time later many have 'found ways to integrate it in their lives" - and some even 'talk about it with love.'

"'The real innovation that's happening is what people are doing, and how people are dealing, with technology,' she added, and 'the unique ways they use it to make their lives better.'

"That is the message that 'It's what you do with what we do' is intended to convey, Ms. Lee said, describing the phrase as 'a step-up line, a bridge line' that will now lead to the 'Rethink possible' theme."

Discussion Starters:

  • What is the difference between corporate and product advertising? Why do you believe AT&T took this approach now?
  • Do you believe AT&T's campaign will be successful? Why or why not?
  • Which of the company's new advertisements do you find most effective? Why or why not?