A Stronger Brand I.D.

A television campaign breaking today in nine Southeastern states in BellSouth’scoverage area includes testimonials from “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 launched this month that assures in-vestors of the company’s stability.

That effort is meant to draw a distinction between the Atlanta-based telco and others—like WorldCom—that have imploded.

In one ad, a woman jogger says, “I want everything from one place, not one thing from every place.” The statement addresses customer desires for one-bill simplicity from a well-known supplier.

The campaign includes two spots modified for Georgia and Louisiana, where BellSouth offers long-distance service.

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

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

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