Bell South Pushes Bundled Services

Bell South is placing an estimated 40 percent of its ad budget behind the first campaign promoting its new bundled services.

A TV, print and radio effort from darkGrey tagged “Half of what you need isn’t enough” breaks Thursday in the Atlanta-based utility’s nine-state region. DarkGrey’s New York and Atlanta offices share the client’s $120 million account.

BellSouth received approval for its long-distance service from the Federal Communications Commission effective in January. That service is now bundled into packages that include local calling, wireless through Cingular Wireless and high-speed Internet access from BellSouth FastAccess.

One set of spots shows a family-fun center where everything is half of what it should be, such as go-carts that have only two wheels. With the line, “There’s a neighborhood where people have to settle for just half of what they need,” it’s a subtle jab at MCI’s “neighborhood” campaign.

“This is the first time BellSouth has taken a competitive stance,” said John Mattingly, creative director at darkGrey Atlanta. “Our bundle is two times bigger than MCI’s. It was a way to have fun and make a break with the past.”

In another set of spots, consumers talk about what they want from telecoms and Internet providers.

Print broke last month in newsweeklies. The work includes an ad in which a smiling girl displays a half set of braces.