The insulting AT&T commercial

We generally like the AT&T commercials, even they don't do very much.  

Milana Vayntrub’s Lily is an appealing spokesperson. And the spots are simple enough. 

But the one dominating the airwaves right now is one insulting AT&T commercial.

The most likeable character in the spot is Kash Abdulmalik’s nameless customer. His smile when he says, “It’s the wrong person. It’s some guy named Carl,” is immensely winning. 

Then comes the zinger. “Word of mouth advertising. It’s what they did before commercials.”

It feels like a slap in the face to our delightful customer. Who found the call from Carl amusing. But the spot makes it seem like he’s out of step. 

Its underlying message: “You rube. If you aren’t advertising on TV, you’re nothing.”

AT&T Commercial

TV advertising is just one piece of a marketer’s pie. In fact, we live in the social media era. Whose sole purpose is to generate word of mouth.

With this one AT&T commercial, at least, the brand means stupid customer.