Caraoke: Is AT&T’s Commercial Both Catchy and Effective?

Posted: July 30, 2012

Topics: Technology

As you may have noticed in my first entry, I did not study advertising, marketing, or even communications in college. Therefore, my knowledge of the media and marketing world may be slightly limited, and consumer-based. But who better to evaluate what “works” or doesn’t in terms of advertising than the consumer for whom the ads are meant? Maybe I deserve more credit than I give myself.

We all know that feeling of being sick of hearing the same song over and over again on the radio, or out with friends. The song you were so excited about when it first came out, but now you want to curl up in the fetal position every time you hear it until it ceases.

Over the past few months, one thing that I have not gotten this feeling towards is AT&T’s “Road Music” commercial. I still enjoy the commercial each time I see it. “Allllll my ex’s live in Texas.” And, if you’re like me, you sing along with the commercial. I think this advertisement works simply because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy – and I love pretending I can sing, whether in a car alone or karaoke at my grandparents’ 60th anniversary party. The beignets are extremely tempting too.

Nevertheless, while I do enjoy the commercial, one has to wonder if it’s actually effective in advertising what AT&T is trying to sell? They aren’t trying to show they can incite consumers to sing along, but instead that their 4G network can support your demands, such as music downloads and streaming, in more locations across the country than their competitors.

Someone in the office brought up a valid question: “Do people really stream internet radio out of their phone speaker while they’re driving these days? I know it’s an old car but it seems a little unlikely…”

To which I responded, “I did this yesterday in traffic when the radio was annoying me and I didn’t have my connector cord in the car.”

After thinking more about it, it seems that whether you play it through the cord, or from the phone’s speaker, you will need a quality cell signal just to stream the music in general. I chose to see if I wasn’t alone in streaming music from my phone while in the car through an informal survey of my Facebook friends. It appears that approximately 2/3 or more (at the time of writing) do in fact stream music on their phones from the internet while traveling in a car.

Based on this conversation, and those with my friends, the spot seems effective in opening up dialogue and definitely getting stuck in our heads, but does this make me want to switch phone carriers? No. But maybe that’s because I’m still on my parents’ family plan. Could it be effective on someone who is considering switching carriers? Based on my informal research, I don’t see why not.

From both the dialogue opened by this commercial, as well as my informal poll on Facebook, I have learned that one of the most important aspects of advertising a product or service is understanding the target audience and consumer. In AT&T’s case, because many people my age replied that they do stream music in the car, it seems they have a good grasp on what our demographic demands of their service and products. I suspect this spot’s angle would be extremely effective among twenty-somethings, however, I’m not sure how it would be on my parents. Therefore, for the rest of my time working alongside the push team, I will work to constantly remind myself to think about our client’s consumers and what they want or need.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called PUSH 22. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.