In November, AT&T launched "It's Not Complicated," a series of spots featuring a straight man and a kooky group of kids who together tout the advantages of the mobile provider's network to hilarious, surprisingly human effect. The campaign has achieved that rare feat of becoming a pop-culture phenomenon, drawing praise not just from the industry but from that buddy sitting next to you at the bar.
The magic results from a formula of a simple concept, a flexible client and a stellar lineup of creative talent on both sides of the camera -- not to mention that special sauce known as a first grader's imagination. The spots were created by BBDO, Atlanta, and directed by Caviar's Jorma Taccone, best known as one-third of The Lonely Island comedy trio.
Since the campaign's launch, BBDO has produced multiple rounds of spots, including a basketball-themed series [see below] running during this week's NCAA Tournament.
David Christopher, chief marketing officer at AT&T Mobility, noted the campaign has consistently ranked in the top three most-talked about spots, according to BlueFin Labs data. He said the brand was looking to promote its network's various benefits over competitors -- but as simply as possible. "We did not want to create clutter with too many messages," he said. "Our goal was to find a campaign that would build familiarity where each message could live as a part of a whole--all while being as simple and straightforward as possible."
Which is where the little ones come in. The kids' imaginations turn boring brand attributes like multitasking or download speeds into loads of fun -- especially when bounced off the ripostes of moderator Beck Bennett, who's also part of comedy group Good Neighbor.
The campaign is an evolution of an online NCAA-themed effort launched this time last year from BBDO, New York, which featured Mr. Bennett consulting one-on-one with the kiddies to help him pick his March Madnessbrackets.