Y&R Says AT&T’s ‘Talk Is Good’

NEW YORK Young & Rubicam is launching a new regional ad campaign for AT&T next week that introduces a new strategy and tagline, the client said on Thursday.

Eighteen TV spots, which will run in 12 markets, tout local and long-distance service and employ the tag, “Talk is good.” The new work positions AT&T as a conduit for meaningful exchanges.

The spots are tailored to each market, with screen copy posing local issues such as smoking bans and tuition discounts. Music also plays a role, with both original songs and recognizable tunes from the likes of David Crosby and Sheryl Crow.

Y&R’s last big campaign, from 2001, focused on AT&T Unlimited, a calling plan with a monthly, fixed rate. Those spots showed how twins, sorority sisters and band members stayed connected via AT&T.

The agency has been under pressure for months to hatch a new ad strategy for the telephone giant, which is one of its largest clients in New York. In fact, a client representative acknowledged late last year that it had been talking to “small boutique agencies” about regional ad assignments [Adweek, Nov. 25]. But a few days after that acknowledgment, the rep said AT&T was no longer pursuing that option after an impressive meeting with Y&R.