Gotham to Break SunCom Work

A mix of homespun characters and real people, such as a fast-talking Louisiana auctioneer and a ninetysomething Texas nurse, star in Gotham’s new campaign for AT&T affiliate SunCom.

The $15 million effort breaks Saturday with eight TV spots in 75 markets.

The work shows scenes from the subjects’ everyday lives, as voiceovers and screen copy tell how SunCom meets their wireless needs. In one ad, the auctioneer takes bids on horses; in another, the nurse is shown to be caring and wise-a metaphor for the company, whose parent is TeleCorp PCS in Arlington, Va. Other characters include a retired couple hauling an RV and a twentysomething who is obsessed with technology.

The new tag line: “Simply yours.”

The ads succeed last year’s largely tactical efforts, which touted calling rates. The local flavor of the new work carries over from the previous campaign, said Lynn Giordano, chief creative officer at the New York shop. “Now we’re really going back to the fundamentals of the brand,” she added.

SunCom, which competes with Verizon Wireless, among others, is targeting users ages 25-54 who spend at least $55 a month on wireless service, said agency account director Kimberly Broatch.

The strategy is to play up SunCom’s local presence, particularly as rivals bank on their clout and celeb rity spokespeople, added shop vice chairman Marty Smith.

The effort also includes print and billboards. Gotham won the business in 1998, following a review.