AT&T Sells ‘Freedom’

First FCB Spot for Wireless Unit Is Effects Epic
SAN FRANCISCO–“Freedom,” as AT&T Wireless Services sees it in its first TV work from Foote, Cone & Belding, is about encouraging customers to make all calls from their cellular phones.
An effects-laden 30-second spot from the San Francisco agency breaks today, touting AT&T’s new “digital one rate” calling plan. The commercial features a man standing on a seaside cliff in California. As he dials his cellular phone, the voiceover says, “As of today, the obstacles to wireless calling are history.” The man presses the “talk” button and a voice shouts, “Freedom!” The viewer is then taken on a high-speed visual journey through the U.S., ending at the man’s home in New York, where his wife and baby receive his call.
The spot ends with a 1-800 number and a voiceover that tells viewers, “The rate is so low, it can make your wireless phone your only phone.”
Also featured are a couple of closeups on a Nokia cellular phone. AT&T has a distribution agreement with Nokia.
The spot will run for two weeks, and will be followed by two new 30-second ads in June, said Greg Sieck, vice president and group management supervisor for FCB.
The spots, which drop the tagline, “It’s all within your reach,” (developed by the client’s former shop, McCann-Erickson, San Francisco) will receive the bulk of more than $50 million in support, said sources. The first ad follows print work from FCB in May which had retained McCann’s line.
FCB picked up the estimated $90 million account last November after Kirkland, Wash.-based AT&T Wireless parent AT&T Corp. cut McCann from its agency roster.