BellSouth Looks for Better Brand Recognition

A television campaign breaking today in Louisiana and eight other states in BellSouth’s coverage area in-cludes testimonials from various pu-tative customers framed as “I want” statements.

The spots from Grey, New York, employ the new tagline, “Listening. Answering.” The work expands on a corporate effort that launched this month assuring investors and customers of the company’s stability and heritage. That effort was meant to draw a distinction between the Atlanta-based telco and others in the market, like Qwest and WorldCom, that have imploded this year.

In one ad, a woman jogger says, “I want everything from one place, not one thing from every place.” A motorcyclist says, “I want it all from someone who’s been around the block—my block.” Those statements address customer desires for one-bill simplicity and being served by a well-known business.

The campaign includes two TV commercials, which are slightly modified for Georgia and Louisiana, the two states in which BellSouth offers long-distance service.

Dave Tutin, executive vp and executive cd for darkGrey, a Grey unit, said BellSouth’s previous ads were well received, but customers often did not connect the ads with the name. “People liked what the ads said, but they’d attribute it to AT&T or MCI,” he said.

To give BellSouth a strong identity in the ads, the company’s blue triangle visual treatment is prominent and the people and scenes have a strong New South flavor. For instance, copy in one ad states that the telco’s product packages “fit you like Mardi Gras fits New Orleans and Nascar fits Charlotte.”

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. The account was valued at $120 million when Grey won it last December. BellSouth spent nearly $27 million on measured media last year, per CMR.