BELLSOUTH INJECTS HUMOR INTO NEW CELL PHONE ADS: REGIONAL FIRM AIMS TO GUARD CUSTOMER BASE FROM NAT'L RIVALS

By Published on .

Most Popular
BellSouth Mobility today breaks a $27 million campaign touting a new pricing plan as the wireless service provider braces for more competition from giant rivals.

The advertising introduces a simplified in-state rate structure and a single "roaming" rate of 59cents a minute for out-of-state calls.

The newspaper, outdoor and spot radio and TV campaign from WestWayne, Atlanta, features caustic comedian Dennis Miller, making comments on BellSouth's range of services.

"He's a contemporary, no BS guy," WestWayne Managing Partner-Executive Creative Director Martin Macdonald said of Mr. Miller. "The [cellular] category is always so serious. This is a commentary that's said in a fun way."

DEREGULATION 'CRAZINESS'

The new campaign is "a commentary on the world of cellular and all the craziness going on with it because of deregulation," Mr. Macdonald added.

"Basically, the whole competitive environment is changing," said Ken Cohen, WestWayne account supervisor on BellSouth Mobility.

"Some real giants like AT&T, MCI and Sprint are all entering our markets, and they're doing it loudly," he said, stressing that those newcomers have marketing savvy and "mega-budgets."

"We're trying to protect our leadership and market share," Mr. Cohen said. "It's competition now at a much higher decibel."

BellSouth Mobility, part of BellSouth Cellular Corp., services Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. The company has the largest coverage area in the Southeast, serving more than 2.5 million customers.

The primary target of the new campaign is existing cellular phone and wireless users, both BellSouth customers and others.

"You want to hang onto your precious customer base," Mr. Cohen said. With

In this article: