The Best Ad I Saw this Year

As someone who works in marketing, it take a little more to impress me.  I have to say, I was inspired and floored when I saw a TV ad from AT&T during the Olympics.  After a swimming event I just watched, AT&T showed an ad featuring the race and the time.  It was amazing!

Look – I realize these Olympics are not live, but the work that went into this was unreal.  When I saw it – I thought – wow.  That was the coolest TV spot I have ever seen.  Remember, this spot aired directly after the event was shown.  Directly after millions just watched on their edge of their seats a great Olympic event.  We were all still engaged with the TV at this point, and the AT&T spot took advantage of it unlike any I have ever seen.  Standing alone – this is a good spot.  The fact that it ran at the perfect time is what made the spot great.

Fast Company did a write-up on how this spot was developed.  It was not easy.  And I think this work paid off in form of retention.  I think this ad had a few things going for it that made it one of the best of the year so far:

Timing – You can’t really get much better than this

Creative – The spot integrated AT&T technology with a real World example of how we interact with TV today

Emotional – Deep down, we all wanted to be an Olympic champion at some point in our lives

A lot of people think the TV spot is dying (I may be one of them) – but AT&T proves that there is still a lot to be gained when you combine great creative with a great media buy. It’s not as simple as airing the same spot over and over again to as many people as you can (We call that frequency and reach) – it’s about developing creative people will remember, and place it when they are most engaged.

We all produce TV spots when we work in marketing.  The thing is, our audience can be doing a million of things when our spot airs.  Tweeting.  Chasing their kids.  Leaving the room.  AT&T captured an audience who was doing exactly what they knew they would be doing, catching their breath after a great event.  They probably didn’t know they made us all catch it again.

Great work BBDO and AT&T for letting them do it.


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