2017 In-House Agency of the Year
AT&T’s in-house agency is a 150-person team with resources embedded with its clients. They support 38 diverse lines of business and produce over 7,000 unique pieces annually—executing creative born from strategic insight, for results that are sometimes provocative and always on brand.
Last year, the team embarked on a challenge: reposition the nation’s most recognizable telco into an entertainment brand, all within six weeks.
It would be a difficult task for any agency, internal or external, to reinvent a Fortune 10 company that also happens to be the one of the largest advertisers in the US. Not to mention, positioning the corporation to compete in the ever-changing tech/media/telecom space. Competition is formidable, with legacy companies like Comcast and Verizon becoming increasingly more aggressive. And newcomers like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, along with Google and Facebook, making strides as well.
The in-house agency needed to define AT&T’s place as a provider of connectivity, devices and content. They also needed to transform the way the entertainment-seeking public perceives a company whose proper name is American Telephone & Telegraph—shifting from their grandparents’ phone company to a leader in mobile technology.
Beyond positioning, the team had to consider the long-term implications of rolling out such a sea change. With over 100 external agencies in the mix, it was essential to ensure an integrated experience.
They developed a brand platform and supporting toolbox that drove consistency across all media. They analyzed the way they communicated with customers and built a tone-of-voice based on peer conversation versus scripted dialog. And they reimagined the AT&T logo with a nod to entertainment and sports, and a touch of swagger.
The result? Immediate adoption across all lines of business, including national media, social media, revenue, upgrade and local advertising. The in-house agency enabled a 260,000-employee company to pivot on a dime, paving the way for AT&T to secure its position as the biggest media company in the world.