My very good friend Vance LaVelle, former CMO of PNC Bank and Director of Marketing at the old and obviously smarter marketer AT&T, sent me this link yesterday from AdAge titled AT&T Plans To Kill Cingular Brand. Wow, the New, New, New, Really It Is New AT&T has a lot of great ideas for your world delivered, right? As reported in the article the old SBC and Bell South spent about $4 billion in advertising to launch the brand that has attracted a ton of customers and repositioned them to the youth market. So, the marketing geniuses there decide to throw it all away because they can't figure out how to market two brand names at once. Not only are they potentially killing their youth and tech positioning, it may cost them another $1 Billion to relaunch. Hmmmmm
A few years back as part of our online agency review, we included Cingular's online advertising agency Atmosphere BBDO. The pitch team quickly figured out I was from AT&T and centered their approach around Cingular. Their head creative director, Andreas Combuechen, presented their thought process behind the Cingular logo and how they breathed life into the brand. I have to tell you I was impressed as well as the rest of the marketing team at Harrisdirect. Now, to see all of that good strategy get thrown away and replaced with an old brand name is really disturbing.
I will give the marketing team at the New, New, New, Gosh We Have New Ideas Here at AT&T, some credit. There is nothing like convincing the people running AT&T that you need two rebranding campaigns, plus an extension of one when you complete the acquisition of Bell South, when it comes to job security. Music to a marketer's ears is when you hear the words Rebranding Campaign. It means big, flash brand units with little accountability for financial numbers other than brand awareness.