AT&T AD BLITZ GOES ONLINE

Campaign Structured to Reach Almost Half of All Unique Users

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- The new AT&T next week takes its estimated $500 million ad blitz to the Internet with a push the telecom said will be among the largest in Web history.

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The media buy is structured so that about half of all Web visitors this month starting Jan. 9 will see ads for the newly merged AT&T. The company estimates its campaign will reach 137.8 million unique users, or about 46% of the expected 280 million unique users who will be online for the month. AT&T is basing its calculations on data from ComScore MediaMetrix 2.0.

Takeovers, banners and sponsorships
Plans for the launch include home-page takeovers, banners, sponsorships and dual ad units synchronized on the same page, as well as TV spots on sites ranging from Reuters.com to ABCNews.com. As part of a promotion called “Open Access Week” on Investors.com, AT&T also will treat visitors to premium stock research and other content worth more than $20. The company, moreover, is running a full-page introductory ad on the ESPN home page, a first for that site.

“Online is such an important media, it can’t be overlooked,” said Wendy Clark, VP-advertising, AT&T. “This is the largest initiative we have ever done” online, she said.

The newly merged SBC and AT&T broke its first marketing campaign Dec. 31 on New Year's Eve programming. SBC’s $16 billion acquisition of AT&T received final state and federal regulatory approvals in late November.

AT&T declined to discuss spending on either the overall campaign or the Internet component. Overall spending for the launch of the merged company and its new tagline is estimated at more than $500 million.

Familiar ring
Ms. Clark acknowledged that the tagline -- “Your world. Delivered” -- closely resembles a 2000 line developed by Foote Cone & Belding, San Francisco, for AT&T Wireless. In that campaign, introducing AT&T’s wireless cellphones, a shepherd roams hills and other places with his flock. The tagline for that effort was “Your world. Close at hand.”

“It is obvious both companies have a rich heritage and history,” she said.

Omnicom Group’s GSD&M, Austin, Texas, handled the Web campaign. Along with Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis, GSD&M also developed the overall AT&T branding campaign. Interbrand developed the new tagline, an AT&T spokesman said.

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