Iridium, to be launched in September 1998 by a consortium led by Motorola, uses satellites for a wireless communications service that allows telephone transmission such as voice, data, fax and paging between any two points on earth.
Iridium will target business professionals, travelers, residents of rural areas and disaster-relief teams who need worldwide mobile telephone service.
BEAT OUT SAATCHI, FALLON
In a presentation to Iridium's selection committee last week, Ammirati executives used a global team to emphasize its broad strategic thinking and the range of its international network.
"It was a multinational team," said Rob Quish, exec VP-managing director of client services, including "a core group in New York, with folks from everywhere you can imagine-from Sweden to London to Brazil to Thailand."
20 OFFICES PITCHED IN
All told, Mr. Quish said, they accessed staffers from about 20 offices for the pitch, with about nine of those offices represented in the meeting.
Iridium is "literally going to change the world of telecommunications," Mr. Quish said.
But, he added, Ammirati is facing "a tall order" in taking a relatively unknown brand and service and introducing it globally.
Ammirati already handles creative for Ameritech Corp.'s $100 million consumer, business and branding accounts. The agency is also said to be contending for Ameritech's media buying, which Leo Burnett Co. resigned earlier this month.
NO AMERITECH CONFLICT
Mr. Quish said Iridium doesn't pose a conflict with Ameritech because the new service is "a complement to service providers. Service providers, like Ameritech, can offer it to their customers for international roaming."
When asked who Iridium would partner with, in particular if Ameritech would be one of those partners, Mr. Quish said that it's still "in the early days on the partnering front."
An Iridium campaign from Ammirati won't appear until mid-1998, close to the launch date.
"I'm sure the first campaign will be a very high-end advertising campaign for senior executives of the world's largest companies-the high rollers and the