AT&T's Lily Joins NCAA Stars In March Madness Ad Blitz

AT&T has released a full 360 campaign with four spots from creative partner BBDO LA that will run throughout March Madness games airing on CBS and Warner Bros. Discovery. 

The spots will run across television, digital, out-of-home (OOH), social, and advertising via online video.

“It’s called March Madness, not March Mildness,” says Ash Tavassoli, executive creative director at BBDO. “While other big events are perfectly fine when you watch them solo, the women’s and men’s tournaments are built for madness. And madness is always better with friends.”

The ad campaign, titled Madness Loves Company, demonstrates how watching with other fans is better than watching alone. The campaign's goal is to extend entertainment by using current and former NCAA basketball legends while showcasing how AT&T products and services are complementary to the way fans watch March Madness. 

The first of the four spots, “Vicky’s Squad,” premiered during Selection Sunday this past week. It features former NCAA players for Gonzaga and South Carolina, Chet Holmgren and A’ja Wilson.

Holmgren and Wilson, in the spot, are part of a team watching the game on a phone while on a driving range, as golf balls hit their caged cart. For a moment, they are interrupted while watching the game on a phone by an incoming car warranty spam call.

A&T’s longtime spokesperson, Lily, informs the team about the ActiveArmor feature that protects customers from unsolicited calls.  

The “Arms for Days” spot highlights New Zealand professional basketball player and former Pittsburg Panther, Steven Adams lends a hand and both of his arms so fans can watch the game together, from wherever.

And the “One and Done” spot finds Lily trying to encourage senior player Jacob Toppin to “Do the Kentucky thing” and take advantage of AT&T’s Galaxy Phone Trade-in policy to upgrade his phone and “go to the next level.” Oklahoma City Thunder player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander makes a cameo appearance to chime in on the decision.

All spots have a team-player vibe, but the one spot that sums up all four with a kumbaya feeling — One Shining Moment — is when athletes, mascots and assorted celebrities join together in a silly spot where everyone hits the beach for a rendition of the theme song "One Shining Moment," which has been around since 1986, marking the tune's commercial debut.

AT&T says the song’s original writer, David Barrett, has never allowed the recording to be used in any advertisement these past 36 years. He allowed it here because he felt that this AT&T campaign honors both the song and the March Madness event.

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