AT&T today announced Hello Lab, a year-long branding project that it will coordinate with Fullscreen and a gang of social media influencers--oh, make that “mega-influencers. ” They will use their phones as mobile production studios, but the videos themselves will show up on YouTube or other platforms where they already have a following.
It isn’t like somebody arranged a meeting between Telecommunications Giant and Multiplatform Owner.
For the last couple years, AT&T already has had a tight relationship with Fullscreen. It is a part owner through its partnership with Chernin Company in Otter Media; together they are majority owners of Fullscreen.
So it seems this is more like corporate synergy than anything else, twinning AT&T with the Fullscreen Strategic Content Group. For the last three years, Fullscreen and AT&T also have teamed up for “@SummerBreak” that has over 150 million views. It also works together on “SnapperHero” on SnapChat.
Still, it’s a major marketing push for AT&T as it slugs it out with Verizon and its Go90 mobile platform.
The first project will be “Dare to Travel” with Damon and Jo, who met in Paris and discovered their mutual love for traveling on an extreme budget. They’ve been creating videos for about the last three years.
Their YouTube channel, by most measures, is still pretty small--just over 200,000 subscribers--but they’re good communicators, answering fans in their own language. They’re pleasant as brand ambassadors, though the videos seem pretty too-giggly. For the Hello Lab, they’ll travel to a handful of cities, promising to interact and collaborate with fans, all of whom can stay involved with the Hello Lab through a Twitter address and via a specially designed playing cards that create their adventures for them. (I didn’t get it.)
Other influencer collaborators AT&T is announcing include YouTube big Grace Helbig, musicians Us The Duo, magician Collins Key, Instagram comedian Brandon Armstrong, and Snapchat superstar Shaun McBride, who is better known as Shonduras. AT&T will add to the list as the year goes on, to reach a total of 10.
By working with the same group for the better part of a year, it could be that AT&T finds a few faces consumers will identify with via social media to the benefit of both, over the long haul. That’s how that influencer business works.
AT&T says their group of entertainers will use AT&T phones to create and edit their videos--not start to finish but here and there--and to broadcast them via mobile devices, millions of which are from AT&T. The carrier’s products aren’t otherwise supposed to have a looming presence in the video and there’s no Hello Lab app, but apparently there’s a pretty big marketing push behind the idea, including podcasts, albums and even live events, and an emphasis, not surprisingly, on mobile users.