AT&T: Scraping the bottom of the barrel
Flat assertion: “the new” AT&T needs a “new” ad agency, and yesterday.
Or that, anyway, is what I’d be arguing if I actually cared one whit about their fortunes in the world. If you thought their outdoor couldn’t possibly get any worse – any less passionate, less convincing, less enthused by its own proposition – than the utterly weak “Delivered” campaign (“Podcasting…delivered!”), you should see the latest series to hit the streets.
Now, “Delivered” struck me as the flaccid, joyless effort of a shop that had long ago soured on the client and was actively, if surreptitiously, trying to lose the account. I wasn’t exactly sure how AT&T proposed to deliver to me the various services namechecked in the ads, given that they’re not in the consumer ISP business. Nor could I quite believe that a would-be hegemon of that scale would sign off on the attempt to rebuild their brand on such amateurish imagery (what there was of it), typography (ditto), and copywriting (double ditto). It was, in so many ways, a perfect storm of incompetence, and I truly expected their next effort to improve on it, however marginally.
So I’m dumbfounded at the appearance of a proposition seemingly still more witless and braindead. Ready for it? I should choose AT&T…because they connect me to more places…like Hongyorkadelphia.
Or Sanshangcago, or Amseoulona.
I mean, come on, now. That’s not even clever. It’s just…I forget the word. Ah, yes: decrepitarded. Maybe even catastroflatulent. You see how quickly this sort of wordplay wears out its welcome? Why, why, why would anyone even nominally sensate base their ad expenditures for the quarter on a ploy like this? If I live to be three hundred, I promise you: I will never understand it.
OK, enough ranting for now. Certain of you, beloved, have warned me that of late my posts have tended to sound all cranky and bitter, and that’s a place I truly don’t want to go.
But tell me: does advertising have to be this stupid?