United AT&T Connects With U.S. Olympians

DALLAS AT&T launches another phase of its branding campaign on Monday with the first of three television spots tied to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games that begin Feb. 10, the company said.

Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, created the ads.

The campaign will encompass three U.S. Olympic Team-themed TV spots and print, outdoor and online ads. The umbrella theme: “Connecting You to the 2006 U.S. Olympic Team”

The TV push begins with “Ski Lift,” whose imagery carries U.S. Olympians to a mountaintop in Torino, Italy, and serves as a metaphor for the games’ ability to lift viewers’ spirits. “Ski Lift” will also air during the opening ceremony of the Winter Games on NBC’s prime-time coverage, Friday, Feb. 10.

The second spot, “Ski Jump,” will air during the games and is similar in theme and drama. A lone U.S. ski jumper, at the top of the run, is suddenly accompanied by hundreds of fellow Americans, also on skis. The ski jumper and his countrymen and women soar down the hill as one; once the U.S. Olympian is airborne, he is again alone, supported by the message: “There are times one person can connect us all.”

“Medal Ceremony” celebrates the emotion and universal bonding experience of the Olympic awards presentation through the connectivity of the new AT&T via computers, television and wireless. In the spirit of that connectivity, the message of the spot is: “SBC and AT&T are now united as one and proud to salute the U.S. Olympic athletes who, for 17 days, unite us all.”

AT&T, the company composed of the former SBC and the original AT&T it acquired in a $16 billion deal last year, launched its brand-building campaign Dec. 31, 2005. The effort is expected to cost about $500 million over the first year, according to sources.