The Deathstar Rises

I sat stunned this morning as I read that AT&T (the “new name” for SBC) is going to spend $1 billion on a branding campaign


For that?  Now, I’m well known for hating money wasted on marketing, but $1 billion for that?  You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.  I can imagine about 1 billion better uses for the money.  Apparently, they’ve spent lots of high powered marketing energy (and money, I expect) replacing the “Reach out and touch someone” slogan with “Your world, delivered.”  Excellent.  If I’d been on the “branding committee”, I would have recommended “We Suck Less.” 

This just in – Intel also announced that they are going to do a major overhaul of their branding, replacing “Intel Inside” with “Leap ahead.”  Double excellent.

Seth – the world needs you man – go save these guys from themselves.

  • Dave Jilk

    AT&T can’t use “we suck less” because they don’t.

  • That’s $1 billion because they’re going from uppercase to lowercase letters, Brad. Imaging if they actually (gasp) changed their name!

    Crazy, crazy…

  • How about “Trying harder every day to suck less”? That would at least be honest. Assuming, of course, that they are.

  • Clearly you don’t know anything about branding. The name ATT is associated with large and incompetent telecom organizations but it’s SO associated with telecom, that they can’t NOT use it! therefore, they have to somehow keep the name but disassociate everything about the name from the name itself, leaving only the name. This is what the naming consultants call “cleansing the brand”. Cleansing costs 948 million dollars and the deliverables are a white paper, some fabric swatches, and a super bowl commercial. Then, of course, as Dave T. has astutely pointed out, they have gone lowercase! This is a sign that they intend to be “personal” and “humble” but “hip” and “forward thinking” in a “global” and “visionary” way without being “corporate”. All of those words in quotes will cost another 52 million dollars total if you want them to be properly conveyed to Americans in different demographics. For example, ‘hip’ means one thing to a 22 year old in memphis, and something else entirely to a retired circus clown in Weehawken. These demographic studies don’t write themselves you know.

  • Anonymous of Course

    Intel Should use “The Great Leap Forward”
    Instead of “Leap Forward.” When their
    CEO’s attitude towards American workers
    is considered it would be more fitting.

  • Mathew

    Mr. Costolo,
    I want to pay you $1B to lead a major re-branding campaign. My firm is very large and important and wishes to remain anonymous.
    As you know $1B is a very large sum, and you will need to set up a special account in the Cayman Islands before I can remit payment. The Cayman account carries a minimum balance of $50K.
    All I need is for you to temporarily transfer funds of $50K to open this account and the sum of $1B will be remitted to you personally within 24hrs.
    We are expecting word from you soon.

  • Matthew, I’m glad to see that the “reverse retainer” has grown more popular outside of Nigeria. I will gladly double the sum to $100k if you promise, via anonymous email, that my $1B will be payable in Krugerrand on some future date that we can sort out later.

  • Guzzard

    I remember going into the AT&T Wireless store in Redmond with my AT&T phone. I showed them 2 bars out of 5 on my Phone in THEIR STORE! They were clueless, now they are gone. (Cingular) I had a run in with SBC now I live in Dallas, they are also clueless, how much that company sucks is un-measurable, I now have Vonage (again). if SBC think they can fool me with the AT&T at&t name they are sadly mistaken. SBC sucked before, AT&T sucked before, at&t will be even suckier now. QWest anyone, oh sorry they SUCK too!

  • It is far from the worst – remember when the consulting arm of pwc changed its name to Monday?

    That was a real treat. This one is odd for the reason that they’re using a) an oddly 3d icon and b) a wordmark font that looks half-baked.

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