Media Money with Julia Boorstin

AT&T Calling Hipper Users


AT&T is a solid, historied brand -- the blue globe. Cingular was cool and hip -- the bright orange figure. Since acquiring the Cingular brand, AT&T has been working on integrating the two brands while maximizing what CIngular had that it didn't -- that orange hipness.

This week, AT&T launched a new corporate identity and brand with a campaign tagged "Your Seamless World." The message is mobility -- that AT&T is THE brand for wireless access anywhere. Ma Bell hired hipster director Wes Anderson to direct some new national spots. The new print ads are also quirky, saying AT&T works in more places and naming imaginary cities that are a mash-up of real places.

And since colors are oh-so-important in brand messaging, AT&T is bringing back Cingular's edgy orange on everything from the company's bills to its stores. This comes just months after pushing Cingular's brand to the backseat, telling customers that Cingular is now AT&T.

So did AT&T dump Cingular, then realize it needed its cool factor? AT&T says no -- a spokesperson told me they've always had a two-pronged plan to bring the AT&T name to the front, and then bring back some of Cingular's brand equity.

Now we'll see if it confuses consumers, or if it works.

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