AT&T
Codes of Culture

The Challenge

Nationally, AT&T was losing relevance amongst millennials who share multicultural values. The brand had a perception of it being old, corporate, and non-diverse. In a time where the millennial purchasing power was ever increasing, AT&T needed to find ways to connect with this audience or risk losing their dominance within the category.

The Idea

1 / 8

At its origins, an area code was simply used to distinguish one town from the next. Since then, area codes have become three-digit symbols of hometown pride. Our campaign, “Codes of Culture,” reclaimed the area code brackets that AT&T invented by reintroducing them in a way that celebrates the “codes” cherished by locals and the cities they represent.

The Work

To scale, we knew we had to redefine our targeted audience of “multicultural millennials.” Our research gleaned we needed to be less about demography, and more their multicultural values. This nuance opened the campaign’s aperture, allowing us to create messages based on cultural understanding. To do so, we built a meme generator that allowed users to showcase whatever mattered most to their city via a design language which used area code brackets. These memes would become the trademark of the campaign and populated AT&T’s entire media mix including OOH, Digital Display, Social, and Events.
Play

The Impact

In a category where only 2% of the market moves to a new carrier, we saw top two box scores seeing lift in switching intent ranging from 37% to as high as 74%.

Over a 12-month campaign duration, people who agree “AT&T is culturally relevant” increased:

+150%

in Chicago

+132%

in NYC

+117%

in LA

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