AT&T Personified

AT&T Personified


These are two of a series of ads featuring continuing characters, Frank and Charlie on behalf of AT&T.

AT&T apparently was envious of Verizon, which personified itself for nine years with the “Can you hear me now?” guy.

AT&T feared that people perceived it as a massive, impersonal corporation.  To make AT&T feel more human and approachable, enter Frank, the seasoned AT&T network expert, and his partner, Charlie, the rookie AT&T network expert.

The use of characters to personify AT&T makes sense if the characters communicate desirable qualities of the brand.  Frank and Charlie do humanize AT&T, and they seem to embody the qualities of determination and eagerness.  But Frank and Charlie communicate a lot more because, to viewers, Frank’s and Charlie’s behavior is viewers’ best information about how AT&T itself would behave.  Frank and Charlie have difficulty pulling off a normal handshake.  Charlie has a strange obsession with Feng Shui.  And Frank doesn’t like having any partner much less this partner.  Besides the humanity and approachability of AT&T, Frank and Charlie make viewers wonder about the capability of ATT&T’s network “experts.”   Viewers have to be imagining dealing with Frank and Charlie when they think about talking to AT&T.

The ad feels like a large brand attempting to catch up with a competitor’s strategy rather than making the most of its advantages.

One thought on “AT&T Personified

  1. The ads are comical and, thus , engaging. Unfortunately, the message just reinforces negative experiences I have had with this company.

    After seeing these AT&T advertisements, now I know why AT&T had so much trouble just switching my service from one apartment to another within the same building.

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