I didn't immediately get the connection that mLife is supposed to be "mobile life." It's very difficult to create a cultural term, and I don't know if corporations have that right. Besides, mLife is just a weird word. It feels a bit too esoteric, a bit too cool for AT&T. I don't know if it's in the AT&T brand's vibe to look and feel that way.
Jamie Barrett, Creative Director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
While it's an interesting idea to seed a word or phrase and then own it, mLife is a very transparent attempt to do so. You can't help watching the commercials and knowing exactly what the advertiser wants you to think and do. It's very heavy-handed in that respect. Their strategy is showing.
Sally Hogshead, Creative Director, Crispin Porter + Bogusky/L.A.
It's pretty impossible to live up to a huge drumroll tease like that. It's a bit of an over-promise. But I totally applaud that they did something conceptual for a monolithic client. I hope AT&T appreciates all the free media they're getting from conversations like this one.
Chuck McBride, ECD, TBWA/Chiat/Day/San Francisco
I'm sort of ambivalent. I keep waiting for something to really pop and knock me out. There's this weird latent pressure, like, Come on, pop the question! Nail it! Maybe it's in the can right now. I have communications expectations, which I guess is the point. Either way, this campaign is doing some real heavy lifting. They're trying to create a category, not just a product. But it's suffering by being done in all these different pieces. There's a lot of really nice pieces, but they don't add up to a better whole.
Rob Feakins, Co-ECD, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, N.Y.
I thought mLife was going to be a totally new technology, and I was underwhelmed when I learned that it's just a cell phone. Maybe if cell phones just came out last month and this was the campaign . . . mLife means to be untethered, but I feel that way now. How is this going to change my life? I already have stuff on my cell phone. The teasers definitely piqued my interest; to some degree they succeeded too well.
Harvey Marco, Group Creative Director, Fallon/Minneapolis
I was surprised to learn that Met Life has gotten into telecommunications and that umbilical cords are now referred to as wires. When my daughter was born I asked my wife's OB-GYN if I could cut the wire, and she told me to leave.
Bob Kerstetter, ECD, Black Rocket, San Francisco
I can only say good things about mLife. Perhaps because I was in denial before I knew how deeply mLife had etched my consciousness. I am mLife when I put on my underwear. And I am mLife when I take them off. I am mLife when I need a sandwich. And I am mLife when I remove the fleshy bounty of the reluctant pistachio. I have not decided if I am mLife while vacuuming the rug. But I am certain I am mLife while attempting to figure it out. Perhaps I'm just jealous of such an insanely huge media buy. But whatever it is, it's truly different. My friends notice it. My wife notices it. By God, my kids even notice it. True, my pets seem oblivious. But I assume this was intentional.