AT&T Wireless Launches “Takeover” Campaign

AT&T Wireless is tapping “takeover ads” and portal buys through its first online branding campaign, designed by Avenue A and White Horse.

The creatives, designed by Portland-based i-shop White Horse, center on the wireless carrier’s network quality. In the ads, an AT&T Wireless-branded plowing truck pushes away show obscuring parts of the screen. Copy in a nearby banner reads: “The clear, dependable choice for connecting with family this season.”

According to Redmond, Wash.-based AT&T Wireless, the campaign is designed to “help us extend our brand message of network quality and to maximize our online impact during the holiday season,” said the company’s Internet marketing director, Bryan Trullinger.

The buy, handled by Seattle-based Avenue A, looks to get that message in front of as many holiday shoppers as possible. The ads will run until Dec. 14 on consumer-focused sites including Ask Jeeves, Weather.com, About.com, CBS Marketwatch, and CNET, ZDNet, and My Simon.

Avenue A said this week was chosen for the buy based on data from a recent holiday behavior survey conducted by the firm’s research unit, the Atlas Institute. According to those findings, the weeklong flight should hit during the season’s most active shopping period.

Reach isn’t the only objective in the campaign, however. While the ad’s elements remain the same in every execution, the creatives appear differently on each site. On About.com, for instance, the ad obscures only the About.com title. On the other hand, MarketWatch.com cedes an entire splash page and skyscraper inventory to the advertiser.

“This campaign proves that online advertising can deliver high-impact branding for major Fortune 500 companies,” said Avenue A president Clark Kokich,. “With television, you’re stuck inside a 30-second box, but with online advertising the opportunities are endless, the only limit is your imagination.”

Added White Horse chief executive Jen DeVoe, “Our marketing and creative teams developed stand-out advertising that effectively blends the latest in online technologies with memorable creative to deliver AT&T Wireless’s brand message.”

The campaign marks the first time that AT&T Wireless has participated in an online brand campaign. However, earlier efforts at an online direct sale came through a agreement in June with AOL Time Warner, when the two companies announced the development of a co-branded wireless handset and calling plan.

Following that deal, AT&T Wireless became a frequent advertiser on AOL’s Instant Messenger application and on other properties operated by the media titan, spotlighting specific promotions on calling plans.

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