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New AT&T Ads Address Economic Gloom

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AT&T is addressing the economic gloom head on with a campaign that references the current hard times, but notes that the country has emerged from stronger from similar trials in the past.

The TV, print and online campaign, via BBDO, New York, uses the theme of a timeline to show how tough times spur innovation. As blue-on-white animation shows sketches of the Depression of the 1930s segueing into World War II, a voiceover states, “At AT&T, we’ve seen it firsthand for over a century. That’s why we’re putting billions of dollars into network infrastructure, creating high-tech jobs and investing in American’s green technology.” (The ad doesn’t note that although the AT&T name has been around for more than a century, the original company hasn’t.)

The campaign also includes a Web site, Investinginamerica.att.com, which asks Americans to share their inspiring stories. “As a member of Corporate America, we share in the responsibility to help America through today’s economic challenges by investing in areas—such as AT&T’s broadband infrastructure, clean energy, and our communities—that will again promote economic growth and prosperity,” said AT&T rep Jenny Bridges.

AT&T isn’t the only major advertiser to evoke the Great Depression of late. Allstate, rolled out an ad a few months ago in which spokesman Dennis Haysbert noted that the company was founded in 1931 “not exactly a great year to start a business” as pictures from the Depression roll by. That ad concludes that “it’s back to basics . . . and the basics are good.”