Riney Intros U.S. Cellular Campaign

LOS ANGELES Having spent more than a year “getting to know the soul” of U.S. Cellular, Publicis & Hal Riney’s first work for the brand breaks today with the new tagline “Believe in something better.”

In the 60-second anthem spot “Spread the Love,” a tourist in a foul mood receives a cellphone call that brightens his day. His smile becomes infectious on the streets of several nations, until finally banner displays of smiles drop from buildings and raised window shades form a happy face.

In the 30-second “Shrug,” various people give nonchalant shrugging gestures as the voiceover asks, “Why hasn’t someone outlawed the shrug? At U.S. Cellular, we believe in living in a shrug-free world.” In “Wind Kiss,” we learn how people know someone is going to call just before they do: The caller blows a kiss on the wind that travels miles to the recipient.

Outdoor includes snapshots of children and adults with aphorisms about friendship and loyalty. In one execution, a man dressed in a gorilla suit is pictured with the copy “Don’t be afraid to be that friend.”

Agency CCO Roger Camp said the creative tries to “bring emotion to a category that has been void of humanity, even wrapping the message in comedy, which seems almost par for the course in the wireless industry. We want to convey the heart and soul of the brand without going ha-ha funny.”

Garth Davis of Anonymous Content directed the spots, all shot by Ulf Brandt. Camp’s team included director of integrated production David Verhoef, producer Deb Chin, art director Rich North and copywriter Adam Koppel.

The San Francisco shop won the $75 million business in March 2007.