AT&T Calls Puerto Rico

NEW YORK AT&T has called on homegrown star power to mount a multimedia campaign rolling out this week touting its “Calling Puerto Rico” program.

Aimed at Hispanic wireless customers in eight major Puerto Rican-dominate markets, “Habla Puerto Rico” is a culturally targeted effort that combines rhythmic reggaeton with Boricua talent to relay an often forgotten perk available to existing and would-be mobile customers with family ties and friends on the island.

That is, wireless plans of $39.99 or more allow users unlimited (“mobile to mobile”) calling to other AT&T customers without using up or incurring charges for the available minutes, according to Roberto Garcia, executive director of Hispanic marketing for AT&T’s wireless unit.

“We want our customers to be aware that they are able to call friends and loved ones in Puerto Rico any time, and as often as they want,” he added.

A 30-second TV spot created and produced by The Bravo Group, New York, features Orlando Magic point guard Carlos Arroyo; Roselyn Sanchez, costar of the CBS drama series Without a Trace; and the reggaeton duo Alexis & Fido, whose real names are Raul Ortiz and Joel Martinez, respectively.

The Puerto Rican foursome lends their faces and voices to a spot styled to resemble a music video. In song, the celebs espouse the value and ease of staying connected with one’s Boricua roots. (The word, Boricua was originally used by the Taino Indians to describe the island of Puerto Rico before the Spanish arrived. Today, Boricua is used to identify a resident or descendent of Puerto Rico.)

In the spot, Sanchez and Alexis & Fido provide the vocals while Arroyo keeps the reggaeton beat in check to the sounds of a bouncing a basketball.

The lyrics for the spot were created by the Bravo team and highlight a phrase central to Puerto Rican identity: “Soy Boricua” (“I am Puerto Rico”).

The tag closing out the spot is an homage to a phrase often used by Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean-influenced Hispanic cultures to punctuate a statement: “Pa que tu lo sepas” (“Just so you know”).

Incorporating the popular phrase into the brand’s messaging is significant to the cultural connection the telco is seeking to sustain with existing customers and in reaching out to new ones, Garcia said, noting, “You can’t say it any better than with language that’s familiar and reflective of the culture.”

The TV spot will air via Univision and Telemundo and also will be featured in radio and outdoor advertising through mid-April in markets with large Puerto Rican populations.

AT&T spent $55 million on domestic Hispanic network and cable TV in 2007, down nearly 7 percent from $60 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.