Homespun characters, such as a fast-talking auctioneer from Louisiana and a ninetysomething baby nurse from Texas, star in Gotham's new campaign for AT&T affiliate SunCom.
The auctioneer has a son who talks just as fast, and the nurse is a rural counterpart to Mother Hale, the late founder of Hale House in New York. Other characters include a retired couple hauling a RV and a young urbanite obsessed with technology. In each, a voiceover and screen copy explain how SunCom meets their wireless needs. The new tagline: "Simply yours."
The $15 million campaign, which features eight television spots and breaks this week in 75 markets, succeeds largely tactical efforts from last year. Those ads touted calling rates and bore the tagline, "As simple as 1-2-3."
"The localness was still there," said Lynn Giordano, chief creative officer at the New York shop. "Now we're going back to the fundamentals of the brand."
Each spot suggests a SunCom trait, such as customization and affordability. Nurse Millie, presented as caring and wise, operates as a metaphor for the company, whose parent is TeleCorp PCS in Arlington, Va. Slide guitar and piano music further accentuate the folksy approach of the spots, which were written by Phil Balshi and art directed by Kenny Evans.
SunCom is targeting high-end users, aged 25-54, who spend at least $55 a month on wireless service, said account director Kimberly Broatch.
The strategy behind Gotham's work is to own "local," particularly while rivals bank on bigness and celebrity spokespersons, added agency vice chairman Marty Smith.
Print ads play off the TV work, such as one that lays a headline ("The world doesn't need another wireless service. Just one that's simply yours") over a black-and- white image of nurse Millie.