tions companies are inn k-
inga "land grab" for the
I ii --I customers, and
spending billions of dol-
lars in the process.
'U ANDREW RATKLK
Turn on the TV or radio. Drtve
along the IntcnUtc. Open a news-
paper or magazine.
They're everywhere, or so It
Advertisements for telecommu-
nications companies and their
services — wireless phones, long-
distance calling. Internet connec-
tions and Web-enabled phones —
are hard to miss.
Technology and the deregula-
tion of the phone Industry aren't
Just changing the way we commu-
nicate with each other. Almost
overnight, the field has become a
marketing force trying to commu- Others have signed up Holly- for 1-800-CoUect, and wacky actor In newspapers were retailers.
nicate to us. wood personalities as spokesper- David Arquetle pitches 1-800- Then, we went through a period
AT&T Broadband has Its orb sons, such as Jamie Lee Curtis Tor CALL-ATT. when it was all health care — hospi-
logo that morphs into various VolceStream Wireless Corp, Sela There's a land grab not just for tals and HMOs. The next big thing
shapes. Verizon Wireless Inc. has Ward for Sprint Corp, and James dollars and market share, but for Is telecommunications and finan-
people (lashing a "V," an update of Earl Jones for Verizon Communi- the best customers" with the most cial services. We are seeing an evo-
the hand gesture that meant cations Inc. money and staying power, said lution, and it reflects a competi-
world-war victory to one genera- Dlgex Inc., a Web-hosting com- Martha RoRers. whose Norwalk. tiveness."
tion and peace to another. Clngu- pany In Beltsvllle that was bought Conn.-based management consult- The telecommunications Indus-
hir Wireless has an animated by WorldCom Inc. last year, uses ing firm, the Peppers and Rogers try spent $4.2 billion on advertising
orange blob, sort of a cross be- basketball star Shaqullle O'Neal In Group, works with companies such last year, ranking sixth behind tra-
tween a Rorschach tnkblot and the Its ads. Actress Alyssa Mllano ap- as AT&T Corp. and Verizon. ditional advertisers such a> auto-
p ! i - 1 > ;r. Doughboy. pears as the temptress "Eva" In ads "For a long time, all the big ads makers and retail- SttAdt. *>
Page4D;Sunday,July8.2001 : The Sun BUSINESS
Cingular's 'Jack' a bold bid
Company creates Icon shaped, orange logo, anl The consumers are be-
mated for TV spots, to pro- coming somewhat capti-
with personality' to mote a theme of "self-ex- vated with the logo. It's a
avoid 'blur of sameness' pression." The company's fun visual that we believe
signature phrase: 'What quite effectively repre-
do you have to say?" sents our message,"
"Our challenge was to Overby said. -We're basi-
By ANDREW RAT: create advertising that could cally a as-week-old brand.
break through the blur of same- Our brand awareness Is very
ness in the category." said Ted competitive with our competition."
When Clngular Wireless Inc. Bann, co-chief executive officer The second-largest wireless
Jumped on the national stage with and chief creative officer of BBDO carrier In the country, after Veri-
a major ad campaign last winter. New York, which created the cam- zon Wireless, also became a major
Its executives acknowledged three paign for Clngular with BBDO sponsor of the Special Olympics as
concerns: South In Atlanta. "What better a tie-In to Its "self-expression"
Virtually no one knew of their way to help personalize our com- theme. The company plans to raise
company. It wouldn't b« easy set- pany than to create a brand Icon nearly $fi million this year and $40
ting themselves apart from com- with personality?" million over the next four years for
petitors; andtechnologycan be • The company aired Its first the organization. The company
hardsell. commercial during a pro refers to Itself In promo-
-We didn't wont to Juil I'- football playoff (jnmr, but tional material as the
ll bout technology," sold Vance gained a much lamer au- . only wireless carrier dedi-
Overby. executive director for ad- dlence weeks later as a co- cated to enhancing the
vertising and sponsorships for At- sponsor of Super Bowl tools of Individual self-ex-
lanta-based Clngular. "We wanted XXXV. Baltimore played a pression" — catchy per-
to differentiate ourselves from role in Clngular's rollout, haps, but hard to define
cold, hard technology.' not only because the Ravens Even comedian Dana
To that end, executives re- won. but also because one of the among media critics. Carvey. not usually at a loss for
viewed thousands of names before commercials featured Dan Ke- The company, however, felt words, had trouble describing the
settling on the unusual, but dis- pllnger, a Towson artist with cere- that the campaign was helping It message and "Jack" on CNN In
tinctive angular with a "c." to de- bral palsy who earlier was the sub- stand out In a crowded field. It con- January when the company hired
scribe their company. It connotes ject ofan Academy Award-winning tinued to spend millions on prime him to unveil Its new brand.
a singular brand formed by BBC documentary. "King Gimp." time, ponying up an estimated $12 "We are from the self-expres-
Communications Inc. and The Kepllnger ad was well-re- million to co-sponsor CBS' "Survi- sion people. This little |leR] here
BellSouth Corp. from 11 smaller ceived In the traditional postgame vor The Australian Outback" se- means self, that means expres-
regional companies the two for- dissection of the TV ads. but ries and also sponsoring the half- sion. ' Carvey Joked for the news
merly owned. They also devised "Jack" drew some guffaws In the time shows during college basket- team. "Up here Is Just appendages
"Jack" — their nickname for aJack- advertising community and ball's "March Madness " In the air for no apparent reasons."
In a wireless world, advertising frenzy
Adi.fnm Page ID] through Baltimore knows: Every are new companies or a combina- ers that everything they knew
other billboard Is fora company In- tion of older ones operating with a about BeD Atlantic and OTE
ers. according to research firm volved In phone service or the new name. Second, they need to would stay the same." said John
CMR, a Taylor Nelson Bofres Co. In Internet. convince consumers that they Bonomo, a spokesman at Verizon
New York. Telecommunications compa- need the Innovations they're offer- headquarters In New York.
That sum was six times the nies spent 563 million on billboard Ing — a hurdle historically for any- By an odd quirk — and a reflec-
roughly $700 million that tele- space In the first quarter of this one trying to sell a new technology. tion of the confusion In the market
phone companies spent In total year, up 11 percent from the com- An Impatient stock market has In- — the company beat Itself to the
marketing In the mid-1980s after parable period In 2000. That made creased the pressure for compa- punch. Verizon Wireless began TV
the court-ordered breakup of "Ma It the ninth-biggest spender on nies to make themselves and their commercials before Verizon, the
Bell." the American Telephone and billboards, according to the Out- new products known quickly, parent company, had won ap-
Telegraph Co. door Advertising Association of many say. proval for Its own merger. The
As late as 1B96. the year Presi- America inc. Three years ago VolceSlream splnoff became known to the pub-
dent Clinton signed the telecom- The Industry was the fastest- Wireless signed up Jamie Lee Cur- lic before the parent.
munications reform act, the sector growing purchaser of outdoor ad tis, the actress and recent They got a head start on the
didn't merit its own category irvlrf- space In 2000, when Its spending children's author. She turned out use of the name "Verizon.'"
icrtistng Agfs survey of the top 30 grew 40 percent from 1998. Before to be one of the few constants for Bonomo explained. "The wireless
Industries In advertising. But tele- 1998, the Industr/s billboard the Bellevue. Wash., company as It partnership was approved first.
communications companies spending wasnt significant moved through several mergers and It dldnt make sense to have
passed the $3 billion mark In 1868 enough to be measured separately. that are Indicative of the continu- them go by the name of Bell Atlan-
and $4 billion In 2000. Telecom "It has gotten Incredibly com- ing shakeout in telecommunica- tic for a few months" until the
spending on broadcast, print and petitive." said Diane Clmlne. exec- tions. VolceStream was bought larger Verizon merger went
billboards ads has grown a third utive vice president of marketing last month by Deutsche Telekom through.
faster than the advertising indus- for the billboard trade association AO. Europe's largest communica- Confusion also results from the
try as a whole in the past decade, in New York. Ten years ago. It tions company. bet that these companies are
accord tngto CMR. hardly existed It's become very "Prior to her. we were the new spending billions to create a mar-
Those sums dont Include the significant, especially with tobacco kid on the block, going against ket, not just to win market share.
dot-corn mania, which bid up the companies withdrawing from out- AT&T. Sprint, household brand Households with high-speed Inter-
price of Super Bowl alrtlme to un- door advertising, because they names with a tot deeper pocket*," net connections are still rare, and
precedented heights last year be- were 10 percent of the business." company spokeswoman Kim mobile phones were uncommon
fore quickly drying up. Half the Marketing In the communica- Thompson said. "She does visits until a few years ago. Yet the com-
dot-corns that advertised In tradi- tions field Isn't new: As earl; as with our sales contest winners, she mercials depict consumers order-
tional media In 2000 have van- 1907. Theodore Vail, then head of spoke to employees when the com- ing movie tickets via Internet-en-
ished. Including the whimsical the Bell System, stressed to share- pany was bought. When she signed abled pocket phones or a business
Pets.com sock-puppet mascot. holders the need for "public rela- on. we were a regional company, traveler using a Web-cam to watch
The spending frenzy has tions" to broadcast the company's and she said she had thought It'll a son's soccer game from his hotel
slowed this year, reflective of ad- works. be fun for a while, but It's grown room In a distant city — still akin
vertising In general Ad spending The company's bell-shaped bigger than she thought It would." to science-fiction for most people.
by telecommunications companies logo was one of corporate Ameri- Last year, a commercial de- "We hear all this advertising,
was down 2 percent for the first ca's most recognizable symbols — pleting Curtis in a cocktail dress and it raises our demand for the
quarter of 2001. compared with the Including Its 1969 update by the re- using a mobile phone while her car product. We think we must be
corresponding period a year ear- nowned graphic designer Saul was disabled won an award from missing out on something." said
lier, according to Robert J. Coen. Ba&s, who also created the logos the Cellular Telecommunications Lynda M. Maddox. professor of
who writes an Industry newsletter for Alfred Hitchcock's movies and and Internet Association, which marketing and advertising at
for Universal McCann, a media- the Olrl Scouts. After the courts has begun honoring the commer- George Washington University In
marketing firm In New York. ended its monopoly In 1984. AT&T cials that have Introduced the nas- Washington. "We all kind of feel
But Coen and others think the spent millions to retain long-dis- cent Industry's products to the we're not quite with 11."
Influx of companies striving to woo tance customers with Its 'Reach public. With young people historically
customers who dont know them — Out and Touch Someone" cam- Verizon Is another company more adaptable to new technology,
and striving to sell products buy- paign. whose spokesman has outlasted the companies have been targeting
ers aren't convinced they need yet But ad spending has rocketed the original company. When Veri- the 18- to-24 year-old set — and
— will have long-term impact. Al- in recent years as the offspring of zon was formed from the merger of even younger Verizon sponsored
ready, some longtime advertisers that Bell divestiture, such as Veri- Bell Atlantic Corp. and OTE Corp. the summer concert tour by the
such as food, toiletries and bever- zon, have begun battling to win a year ago, It decided to retain -boy band"'NSYNC.
age sellers have begun slipping, customers for an array of services, James Earl Jones. The actor, who But some industry insiders say
unable to meet the rat« Increases from cheaper long-distance rates starred In The Great White Hope- the telecommunications compa-
driven by lh*w n»w maiu market- to • ;..•'::•,;'•: <iu:. ; Internet connec- In 1B70 and as the rich, baritone nies, relatively new kids on the ad-
ers, Coen wrote In his Industry "In- tions. voice of Darth Vader In the "BUr vertising block, have a lot to learn
sider" report last winter. The challenge for these compa- Wars" mortes. had done voice- when It comes to creating brand
The impact on billboard spend- nies has been twofold, say observ- overs and appearances for the for- awareness and marketing buzz.
ing has also been significant, as ers both In and outside the field: mer Bell Atlantic dating to Yellow Said Tom Blebert. communica-
anyone who's approached the Fort First, they must Introduce them- Page commercials In the early tions director for Baltimore ad
McHcnry Tunnel on Interstate 93 selves to customers, since many 1990s. agency Trahan, Burden & Charles
"Once we got approval for the Inc.. •Budwelser's "Wassup' guye
merger, we wanted to gel out of the and their frogs have It all over the
Your Regional Online box quickly to assure our custom- Clngular btotch,"