Goodby Bows Work for AT&T Wireless

NEW YORK Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ first work for AT&T Wireless since winning its estimated $120 million corporate image account in July focuses on people using its services and simplifies the company’s well-known “Reach out and touch someone” tagline to “Reach out.”

Three television spots, each in 30- and 60-second versions and breaking on Sunday, show people connecting by using cell phones. One ad shows a man on a business trip, beset by mundane problems such as being unable to unlock his hotel room door and having his flight home delayed. His daughter then appears next to him. “Hi Daddy, I miss you,” she says. The next shot reveals he is actually talking to his daughter on his cell phone. A narrator states, “For your most important calls, reach out.” The “Reach out” tag then concludes the spot.

Another spot presents a woman on a bus. A boy, apparently her son, appears at the front of the bus playing a song on the piano as the woman tears up. Subsequently, it is revealed that the son is actually at a piano recital, and the woman’s husband is holding his phone up so she can hear the song. A third spot shows a husband and wife fighting. The husband seemingly bursts into a conference room with a sign saying, “I’m sorry. ” In fact, he text messages her via phone instead.

Agency co-chairman Rich Silverstein said the concept of “Reach out” was what the San Francisco-based shop pitched to the client during the review against incumbent Ogilvy & Mather. “We thought, why don’t we contemporize [‘Reach out and touch someone’] and just say ‘Reach out,’ ” he said. “Since that’s what wireless technology allows you do to, and AT&T owns it, it makes perfect sense. We didn’t need a superstar or a talking head, we needed to tell the truth about why we use wireless service.”

Five print ads present superimposed photographs of people connecting with each other in different places. One ad shows a grandmother at home on her porch, reaching over to blow out the candles on her granddaughter’s birthday cake. The girl is in a different location.

WPP Group’s Ogilvy continues to work on retail newspaper and business-to-business advertising, as well as AT&T’s pay-as-you-go service, GoPhone.

Ogilvy created the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s “mLife” campaign, which was widely criticized for offering a generic message with a confusing name. Ogilvy,which won the business in July 2001, broke its first work on the Super Bowl in January 2002.