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AT&T Taps Will Arnett for Social Video Campaign

  |  December 12, 2011   |  Comments

As "Internet attorney Kent Wesley," Arnett will convince your loved ones you deserve a new smartphone.


arnett-attAT&T enlisted actor Will Arnett to play the role of Internet attorney Kent Wesley in a series of customizable web videos that let people beg friends and family for a smartphone. The Facebook app campaign, dubbed ""You've Got a Case", aims to educate consumers on the products while creating highly shareable content.

Jennifer Fisher, director of digital and youth marketing for AT&T, says You've Got a Case follows last season's "Plead Your Case" app in which users created similar videos that told their friends and parents why they deserved a smartphone for the holidays.

"The intention of Plead Your Case was to show youth that our smartphones are affordable in a way that was funny, relatable and shareable," Fisher says. "We hoped to make a basic transaction – i.e. telling someone that you want a new AT&T phone by posting to their wall on Facebook -- more experiential, fun and clever."

Fisher says AT&T decided to make these apps a "holiday tradition of sorts," but wanted it to be funnier this year. So it hired Arnett, who according to Fisher, "has a hardcore fan base of content creators and influencers who love everything he does and will spread it virally."

AT&T created the campaign with agency BBDO and its development partner, The Famous Group.

To create a video, users pick who they want to buy them a phone, select their relationship to each other, choose a desired smartphone and click, "create a case." The app syncs with the Facebook user's profile to create a customized case proving to he or she deserves a smartphone. A series of expert witnesses - including actor Ray Liotta - take the stand to help Kent Wesley deliver an argument to a jury of Facebook friends.

The more likes a video gets, the more it surfaces in news feeds and creates pressure for the gift giver/defendant to "settle out of court" and purchase a phone, Fisher says.

"By granting us access to their profile, we're able to create a case custom to the user," Fisher said. Videos can include a user's profile photo, Facebook friends, initials, name, school and favorite movies and TV shows.

"That customization not only adds a surprise and delight factor, but it also drives higher engagement and willingness to share," Fisher says. "To keep users coming back, the witnesses that testify on your behalf are selected at random, keeping the experience fresh each time."

According to Fisher, there are 90 possible video outcomes depending on the phones users select, the relationship they choose and the witnesses that testify on their behalf.

In addition, AT&T wanted users to be able to engage with Kent Wesley after they've created their cases, so there is additional content that can be accessed by liking You've Got a Case on Facebook, Fisher says. That content includes behind-the-scenes videos, outtakes, interviews and photos. The app launched November 25.

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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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