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November 21, 2007

AT&T Wireless silliness

Att_ad_shirtby Josh Bernoff

The only live TV I watch is sports -- and since AT&T Wireless blanketed the airwaves with it's "we work where you live" campaign during the Red Sox's triumphant march to the World Series, I got a chance to see a lot of it.

Now they are extending it to a Web site where you can create a custom T-shirt (or mug, etc.) about the places you live. For example, what you see at left is for someone who lives in Twitter, Web, and Facebook.

Through Zazzle, you can pay $20 and get the shirt yourself. It has a little AT&T logo on the back.

After having my fun, I had to ask, Is this worth it?

First of all, is it social? It doesn't really involve other people -- unless you count the ones that see your T-Shirt or your mug. And they don't get much of an AT&T message. This is zeroth, most minimal level of user-generated content.

Is it viral? Could be. Depends on how many people find it mildly interesting, as I did.

In the end, this is an ad campaign advertising an ad campaign. AT&T Wireless is now throwing what must be hundreds of millions of dollars at rebranding itself back again after selling its name and naming itself Cingular. How much money has been spent on these names? Ad Age raised the question of whether the branding effort was "A Failure of Epic Proportions".

But when you spend so much on branding, is advertising your advertising worth it? Will the people fooling around on this site take away any message about AT&T Wireless that they didn't already get from the TV commercials? I doubt it.

Gigcrunchter Still, it's fun. Here's what you get when you mash up GigaOm, TechCrunch, and Forrester.

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Comments

Bryan

Oh Josh... I have a lot of comments. First, I could not find any Forrester blogs from the forrester.com site. Guess a Google search is better at locating you! Second, I agree wholeheartedly that this AT&T effort is weak and missing key elements. Lastly, it's really easy to hack - I made a shirt that said "Masochist" after first entering three legitimate places (Massachusetts was first, I wasn't heading down any specific path) then playing with iterations. I personalized it with the "I love" graphic. Not exactly the type of message AT&T would want their logo on.

Orlando

I usually visit AT&T Wireless store through Couponalbum.com site as it is full of fresh coupons and deals on wireless accessories....!

Josh

I was able to get good deals on t-shirts at threadless at http://www.keepcash.com just goto the coupon section.

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