Laughs Lead to Brand Recognition?

AT&T’s advertising campaign “It’s not complicated” has gotten positive attention since it first started filming over a year ago. This series of commercials star comedian Beck Bennett along with a group of children. Bennett asks simple questions and the kids respond as kids usually do, without filters. The main concept of this commercial is to portray AT&T’s network and features as simple to understand. To make this point they incorporate children to keep things simple.

When any commercial is made there are always scripted versions as in the case of this commercial. Of course kids can’t stick to a script but they do take some of the ideas and run with them. They have to be guided otherwise they would go off track and the material would not be at all usable. Overall these commercials are funny because they come from a pure and unfiltered place.

The children change every time as well as the topics but they all go back to the central idea that “It’s not complicated.” Bennett asks obvious, simple truth questions and asks for explanations. The kids agree with the obvious questions but always have a quirky, creative explanation as to why. The audience finds these children cute and funny and therefore the commercial gets positive feedback.

This comedy tactic has been proven effective before on Bill Cosby’s show Kids Say the Darndest Things. Bill would ask questions to the kids based on stories they had talked about before the show and then the child would answer. This popular show was known for its comic relief. People enjoy these commercials because they come from a pure place. They remind us of the simplest things. But did it only work for Cosby because it was a form of entertainment, not an advertising strategy? The advertisement part is almost forgotten in these ads because is difficult to relate the message to the bigger picture of the brand itself.

Although these commercials are entertaining and well known, we have to ask ourselves, Is this commercial effective to the point it is trying to make? If this commercial is trying to get some attention from the viewer as well as a chuckle then it is successful, but at the same time they need to get their brand out there as well. The way we do this is a slogan that consumers can associate with a brand and think that is where this commercial campaign fails. Although I have seen many of these commercial I can never seem to remember what they are for. I don’t find simplicity, phone companies and children to all be relatable. In the end I think that this is a light, entertaining commercial that lacks the ability to create an overall picture while also remembering the brand itself.

AT&T TV Commercial – It’s Not Complicated “Werewolf”


AT&T. (2013, Febuary 25). AT&T TV Commercial- It’s Not Complicated “Werewolf.” Retrieved from XNoYSV9JR0UdjV-YEYaHVYssQAT&T TV

AT&T. (2013, May 1). AT&T It’s Not Complicated Commercials Behind the Scenes. [Video File]. Retrieved from SPxgUkHTvXNoYSV9JR0UdjV-YEYaHVYssQ&index=8

Nudd, T. (2013, April 15). How AT&T Got Kids to Make Some of the Year’s Best Ads. Retrieved from

Parade. (2013, July 2). Vote for your favorite ‘Its’ Not Complicated’ AT&T Commercial. Retrieved from

Technology and the Retail Space

AT&T’s Chicago flagship store on the Magnificent Mile (Photo from AT&T)

Christopher Heine recently wrote an article for titled: “The Store of the Future Has Arrived (and No, It’s Not Apple): How brands are digitizing retail.” In the article he talks about how AT&T, Audi, and Pep Boys are using new technology to revolutionize the consumer experience in the places where they buy merchandise.

When describing the AT&T store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, he says that customers are “sprinkled with what AT&T calls “innovation sounds”—perhaps best described as raindrops going pitter-patter on a digital rooftop interspersed with wind chimes producing cyber inharmonic spectra.” Heine says that the “AT&T flagship attracts an estimated 30,000 customers per month, many drawn in by bells and whistles.” The store boasts an 18-foot video wall with motion sensor software, a section devoted to music apps, a Nissan Leaf that is used to show how parents can use apps to monitor their teens’ driving, and another section devoted to showing how to use apps to track home security. Surely enough activities to draw people in and keep them there for a while, which leads to more product exposure (and hopefully more sales).

Nissan Leaf Display (Image from Fast Company)

Even the point of sale counters have been revamped at the AT&T store. Heine says the “store has only one traditional retail counter, and the cash registers are tucked away in stylish wood cabinets. Sales associates access the registers not with a key but via biometric fingerprinting software and not while standing behind the tills but, rather, while sitting on a couch face to face with the customer.” This approach brings in an element of luxury to the checkout process and makes the transaction more intimate because consumers are sitting down with sales associates instead of being separated by a counter. It is a great way to further develop consumer relations and create a story that consumers will remember and share with friends.

The high level of technology incorporation is a nod to how Apple has set up their stores for years now, but they are no longer the only savvy retail space on the Mile. Other retailers are catching up and going beyond the example set by Apple. As society becomes more and more involved with its technological life, consumers will continue to expect these kinds of revolutions from retailers. They want the bells and whistles as well as a more personalized experience. I think it is an interesting time to watch the face of retail to see what kinds of changes will be made over the next five years as retailers compete to have the coolest store space that appeals to consumers while drawing them further into the fold to becoming brand loyalists.