Iridium, APL See Fear Of Isolation

Satellite Phone Service Should Cure That, $140 Mil. Campaign Says
NEW YORK–Iridium is playing to fears of business travelers stranded without access to cellular service in the $140 million inaugural campaign for its global satellite service from Ammirati Puris Lintas.
The first spot, which breaks July 1, mixes haunting images of the hull of an abandoned ship and lone trees in the Namibian desert to impart a feeling of isolation as an automated message familiar to cell phone callers is heard: “The wireless customer you have called has traveled outside the coverage area.” It continues: “He is somewhere out there. Alone. Desperate to hear from you. The fate of his business depends on what you wanted to tell him “
Actor Alec Baldwin’s voiceover then says: “Iridium is coming. It will send a dial tone to every corner of planet Earth.” Iridium’s Ursa Major logo and tagline, “Calling planet Earth,” follow. Subsequent ads will feature faraway locales such as the Seychelles and Katmandu.
The campaign marks the 100-day countdown to Sept. 23, when Iridium begins global phone service via 66 low-Earth-orbit satellites. Print and outdoor ads, which break today, feature sepia images. One, showing mist-shrouded cliffs reads, “No place on Earth can bring relaxation unless you know there’s peace at the office.”
The work won APL the account last October in a pitch said to include Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA Chiat/Day and Fallon McElligott. “It has metamorphosed to some degree, but it’s pretty much the same,” said APL chief executive Martin Puris. DraftWorldwide collaborated on the direct mail effort.
Iridium, eyeing a subscriber base of 5 million by 2002, is the first global mobile service provider, but will be challenged next May when Globalstar’s satellite system comes online.