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AT&T rebrands itself in effort to improve public perception

post #1 of 108
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With damage done from constant criticism of the performance of its wireless network, as well as a public ad war with rival Verizon, AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., has begun an attempt to rebrand itself as a "lifestyle company."

The new advertisements featuring the slogan "Rethink Possible" began airing Thursday during the Masters golf tournament. The new brand is being introduced through five new TV spots, and will apply to a broad range of AT&T products and services.

"AT&T is launching a new brand promise, 'Rethink Possible, 'that articulates what AT&T is today: An innovation company," the company said in a statement. "Rethink Possible will highlight how AT&T is delivering meaningful innovation that’s changing how people live, work and play. It conveys our desire to push the limits of what’s possible to make life better for our customers. We rethink possible so our customers can rethink possible."

One commercial begins with a man being introduced in the future as the 57th president of the United States as his parents watch and smile. It then rewinds to a much earlier point in his life where the man's parents first met, when his father changed a train ticket on his smartphone. It ends with the line "Any second could be the second," before showing the new logo and slogan. It also, in a voiceover, touts that AT&T has the nation's fastest 3G network.

Profiling AT&T's "ambitious" effort to rebrand its image Advertising Age this week gave details on the new advertising campaign, created by Omnicom Group's BBDO. The effort will go beyond TV to include print, outdoor, digital, in-store, and "non-advertising marketing."

The report also noted that services from AT&T such as rollover minutes lack mention in the commercials "if they don't fit under the new framework."



The rebranding also includes a new logo with the AT&T globe that removes the name of the company from the graphic design. It's all part of an effort, the report said, to make consumers think of AT&T as more than a telecommunications company, but an "innovation company."

A new video on the company's Web site expands on the positive "Rethink Possible" slogan with a number of other phrases, including "Because before it could be done, it couldn't," and "Play the angel's advocate."

"Our brand promise is to 'Rethink Possible,'" the Web sit reads. "But it's more than a slogan -- it's the expression of what we stand for. It's what we strive to do every day so you can stay connected to the people and things that matter to you the most."

Included are a list of services offered by AT&T across a variety of its businesses beyond wireless, including cable television, and the development of home-based medical monitoring devices like "life slippers," which help indicate a likely fall before it happens.



The campaign is a change from the previous effort, in which AT&T, with the help of actor and spokesman Luke Wilson, directly took on criticism from rival carrier Verizon. The campaign also made note that AT&T's network allows users to take a call and surf the Web at the same time -- something not possible on Verizon's CDMA network.

AdAge said the change is a "definitive attempt" to get away from the advertising battle with Verizon, and focus on the positives of AT&T and the services it offers customers.

The battle between Verizon and AT&T has been personal times, resulting in a lawsuit (that was later dropped) and featuring countless ads from both companies insulting the others' service and coverage. Verizon's own advertisements mocked Apple's "There's an app for that" slogan by showing a coverage map with Verizon service, stating "There's a map for that."
post #2 of 108
"Rethink Possible?" Really?

And they're going to take away features (rollover minutes) to improve their brand?
post #3 of 108
A rose by any other name...
post #4 of 108
Wonder what took them so long.


Everyone know going head to head on bits and bytes and who is faster at what never wins. Apple tried to fight that battle and lost so they just changed the playing field and made people realize there is more to computing they how much memory or processor speed you have. Looks like AT&T is trying to do the same thing.
post #5 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by estolinski View Post

A rose by any other name...

putting lipstick on a pig.

sadly (and not unlike microsoft), at&t is only interested in their image and profitshow cheaply can they get services to a customer for the most amount of money.

here's a concept: fix your infrastructure. become an innovator and not just a company that is perfectly content to sit on its laurels. it's too bad steve jobs couldn't take the helm of at&t for a few years and seriously kick some ass.
post #6 of 108
Rethink Possible. Hmm, a bit like Think Different, but worse.
post #7 of 108
Here is a novel idea, how about putting that windfall from the iphone customers back into the network... Imagine what would happen when Apple makes the phone available to other providers.
post #8 of 108
Hey AT&T, why don't you "rethink" the possibility of giving us the ability to tether our iPhones, just like every other country has for almost a whole year now!
post #9 of 108
Hell, I'm not just going to 'Rethink Possible', I'm going to 'Rethink Possiblier'!

Is there not a single english major on the AT&T payroll? Who comes up with this nonsense?
post #10 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post

Rethink Possible. Hmm, a bit like Think Different, but worse.

Yeah, I was going to say the same thing.

And what, exactly, are they claiming "innovation" on? Getting the hell out of the way so someone else could create the cell phone that changed the market?

This is just another in a long string of attempts to rebuild their image through branding rather than by performance. After all, today's ATT is nothing more than the rebranding of SBC and Cingular, two of the more notoriously hated companies in the country at the time (from my perspetive, at least). They bought ATT so they could use what was then a respected brand image.
post #11 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Hell, I'm not just going to 'Rethink Possible', I'm going to 'Rethink Possiblier'!

Is there not a single english major on the AT&T payroll? Who comes up with this nonsense?

LOL - AT&T I have a degree in English that I could put to good use
post #12 of 108
"Rethink Possible?" Not only is it grammatically awkward, but it's a horrible slogan, IMO. Is it just me, or does that seem to carry a negative connotation? As in, if you rethink [what's] possible, you may be having thoughts that something is impossible. The slogan would have been much better as "Rethink the Impossible." So AT&T is now a "lifestyle" company... Haha, that's a good one.
post #13 of 108
All of this stuff is meaningless unless backed by real changes to their product/service. Things that their customers are actually see.

Indeed, if they can't do that, it'll simply breed more cynicism.
post #14 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The report also noted that services from AT&T such as rollover minutes could cease to be offered "if they don't fit under the new framework."

Really AT&T?! Luke Wilson trained long and hard to kick those simulated Verizon minutes down that hole in the ground.
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #15 of 108
Just called up their web site. They must be re-rethinking rolling out their new slogan. It still reads 'Your World. Delivered'
post #16 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Hell, I'm not just going to 'Rethink Possible', I'm going to 'Rethink Possiblier'!

Is there not a single english major on the AT&T payroll? Who comes up with this nonsense?

It is the job of the marketing department to come up with something that sounds good and or has some emotional impact while remaining utterly devoid of any true meaning or content. If your marketing slogan does not truly mean anything then no one can claim your slogan was untrue or misleading.
post #17 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., has begun an attempt to rebrand itself as a "lifestyle company."

...

"AT&T is launching a new brand promise, 'Rethink Possible, 'that articulates what AT&T is today: An innovation company," the company said in a statement.

Would it be too much to ask that they be a company that can make up its mind?

Actually I like the first way better. That way, when exclusivity ends on the iPhone someday, I won't be switching carriers. I'll be making a lifestyle change.
post #18 of 108
Dear AT&T,

I don't care about what you look like but what's in the inside...
Oops... That still doesn't look good. Sorry for you
post #19 of 108
An example: I personally tried yesterday to transition 2 lines that were on a family plan to a new account with a new family plan.
I had to agree to pay 18$s per line just for the transition. When the ATT person found that one of the lines had an iPhone with a contract that ended july 2010, they pretended to force me to extend the contract for 11 more months.
ATT blames Apple, but whatever agreement they have is not my concern.
Why should anyone be obligated to more contract time, just to move a line from one account to another within the same carrier ???
This is an example of the daily frustrations ATT customers have to go through every other day.
A change in image will never change their clients perception, only excellent customer oriented service will.
post #20 of 108
Does anyone else think that there was a lot of back slapping in the office the day this was approved? Lots of whooping cheering and hi fives. It's pitiful. This is the exact oposite of what the general public want. They want a fast reliable network and really couldn't give a fudge about lifestyle. I'm sorry if this is just an aimless rant. This kind of corporate gobshite has absolutley no conceivable purpose and angers me greatly. Idiots.
post #21 of 108
One word. "TETHERING."
Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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post #22 of 108
Rethink Possible? I don't think like this when thinking about cell service. They are going to need to implement services that I don't think are possible for this to stick. They are not the innovation leader in my opinion.
post #23 of 108
Rethink Possible? I threw up in my mouth when reading that.
And looking at the new logo all I can think is.....Death Star 3.0!
Bah, waste of millions in ad dollars that could have been spent on improving their network.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #24 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post

"Rethink Possible?" Really?

And they're going to take away features (rollover minutes) to improve their brand?

Stupid

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Really AT&T?! Luke Wilson trained long and hard to kick those simulated Verizon minutes down that hole in the ground.

Stupid! With Rollover Minutes, ATT has a strong point against its competitors! If they do away with it, they'll piss off even more people!

I am still on VZ, but will have to get ATT when I get the Latest iPhone this Summer! This Rollover Minutes mention is not making me happy! I wonder if it's cheaper to get No Contract, and MiFi type of a device, and use that for iPhone and iPad, or even home, if it's Unlimited Data?

In the end, it's all just another PRICE HIKE! VZ and others will kill them again with TV Commercials! And then what? Another Rebranding!?

Just make your Network The Best, instead of Rebranding! Hope ATT is reading this, and Apple too...

 

Go  Apple, AAPL!!!

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Go  Apple, AAPL!!!

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post #25 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

If your marketing slogan does not truly mean anything then no one can claim your slogan was untrue or misleading.

We can safely say that their marketing people have succeeded completely; they've created one of the worst-sounding slogans in history. "Rethink Possible" -- this sounds like the title to a philosophical tract by some hardcore pothead (written during one of the "hazier" days -- or nights, as if the difference mattered ). The other "phrases" mentioned are enough to make me hurl...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hailthehamster View Post

This is the exact opposite of what the general public want. They want a fast reliable network and really couldn't give a fudge about lifestyle. I'm sorry if this is just an aimless rant. This kind of corporate gobshite has absolutely no conceivable purpose and angers me greatly. Idiots.

I agree with you; if any backslapping and high-fiving occurred post-slogan-conception, then the office people involved should be forced to find better ways to waste money (cough, run for Congress, cough-cough). "Corporate gobshite" indeed!!!

(Or, "How I managed to keep a job and achieve absolutely nothing of real or tangible value at the same time!")
post #26 of 108
It's all part of an effort, the report said, to make consumers think of AT&T as more than a telecommunications company, but an "innovation company."

so... just like Enron?
post #27 of 108
just like blackwater has fooled us all with the name change to Xe.

or maybe they should call it pinto.

was it not just 6 years ago that they started all this name-changing stuff, getting rid of the at&t moniker because of the poor customer service, only to have it come full circle?

and legally they're still sbc?
post #28 of 108
Watch carefully.
Inertia runs this company.
The stripes have not changed for 50 years.
post #29 of 108
One word for you, AT&T:

Skype.

Is that 'possible' enough for you?
Kiss your long-distance/overseas profits goodbye, you over-reaching, greedy idiots.
post #30 of 108
Lipstick on a pig.

Instead of spending the money fixing the problems that got them where they are in the first place, they are spending millions rebranding themselves.

I am paying $125 a month for an iPhone and Motorola RAZR on their minimum plan. The $30 iPhone surcharge is really pounding me in the ass and I've actually been contemplating whether it's even worth keeping my iPhone. So if Verizon doesn't get the iPhone in July when my contract is up, I'm done.
post #31 of 108
'lifestyle' company? are you serious?

what is it about big corporations that makes them crave that fuzzy feeling? deliver promised services, do it well, provide great customer service - that's how you achieve consumer loyalty, not by listening to some high priced image consultants.

trying to brainwash people into loving you is not going to work if you can't back it up with actual performance.

i realise that they have managed to upgrade their network and the complaints are certainly dying down around here, but from personal experience with rogers in canada (what used to be at&t canada years ago), i feel that no amount of propaganda will make me like my cell provider when the service is not up to snuff.

almost two years after the iphone was released in canada and i still don't have 3G in my home town. granted - small town at the end of the road isn't going to be high on their list of priorities, but we DO get a million tourists every year and their competition telus has managed to build a brand new network across the country (yes, even out here in the boonies). you bet i would jump ship if i wasn't locked into a three year contract, and i probably will buy it out this summer.

do you think i would be swayed by advertising to change my mind? i think not. all these providers should focus on their core business - provide service. the love will follow.
post #32 of 108
Gotta love corporate America....that re-branding of Walmart sure went great! Just add a little flower, an easier on the eyes font and poof...now you're the new neighborhood mom and pop shop selling cheap shit from slave labor in China!

So now AT&T wants to change its image through marketing but not actually address the issues that gave it a bad reputation in the first place. Its bad reputation didn't happen because of a marketing failure it happened because of its shitty business practices. Removing the name of the company but leaving its synonymous death star with some new modern font on a slogan isn't gonna change the fact that it's selling an overpriced product, while not delivering the services promised. And I love the idea that removing the customer-friendly rollover minutes is somehow a positive move within the framework of its new marketing. Unbelievable.
post #33 of 108
Fail!
post #34 of 108
it should be "possible" to have a "field day" with this, just like VZ has done with "There's an app for that" ==> "There's a map for that"

if only dear at&t had THE FORESIGHT to spend The Money on The Network (instead of "saving" it for a rebranding campaign), as Steve so eloquently stated in his not-so-brief chat with Randall Stephenson of AT&T late last year at http://www.fakesteve.net/2009/12/a-n...on-of-att.html they wouldn't need to be doing this and the customers would be/have been so much for better for it in the meantime....

its to bad "It’s just numbers, Steve. You can’t charge enough to get a return on the investment."... so i guess they "decided" that "investing" in a rebranding campaign will "turn out" to be a "cheaper"/"better"/more prudent "investment" than in The Network...

"Rethink Possible" ==> "Rethink IMPossible"
post #35 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T (...) has begun an attempt to rebrand itself as a "lifestyle company."

Wow, AT&T is getting into the sex industry??

Wonder how that'll agree with Apple's Disneyfication of the iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The rebranding also includes a new logo with the AT&T globe that removes the name of the company from the graphic design. It's all part of an effort, the report said, to make consumers think of AT&T as more than a telecommunications company, but an "innovation company."

Sad.

If only the same resources were put into actual products/services. Things that spoke for themselves...
post #36 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post

Gotta love corporate America....that re-branding of Walmart sure went great! Just add a little flower, an easier on the eyes font and poof...now you're the new neighborhood mom and pop shop selling cheap shit from slave labor in China!

So now AT&T wants to change its image through marketing but not actually address the issues that gave it a bad reputation in the first place. Its bad reputation didn't happen because of a marketing failure it happened because of its shitty business practices. Removing the name of the company but leaving its synonymous death star with some new modern font on a slogan isn't gonna change the fact that it's selling an overpriced product, while not delivering the services promised. And I love the idea that removing the customer-friendly rollover minutes is somehow a positive move within the framework of its new marketing. Unbelievable.

"When all else fails, change the logo."
post #37 of 108
Follow the deed not the words. Spend the money on improving the system not in talking about improving. I would love the iPhone but every time I "rethink" I end up staying with Verizon because of ATT performance issues.

How many of us would buy a car that could only make left turns? Apple should rethink their alliance.
post #38 of 108
post #39 of 108
Utterly pathetic and this awfulness is compounded by words such as 'lifestyle'. Truly the last resort of a desperate adman who looks at a client and sees no upside in promoting any product or service they offer. The shame of it is that his Ralph Wiigum-ish pitch was likely met with enthusiasm and gratitude in a boardroom. It may be that the same people who approved this travesty also think that using a phone line for more than morse and voice is terribly confusing. I am really struggling to find any alternative that would account for such monumental ckuftwitery.
post #40 of 108
Maybe they should try changing their name to Cingular...

Oh wait, they already tried that...

Seems AT&T and Comcast have a lot in common...

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