Latest 'New AT&T' Rebranding Begins Today

When it comes to rebranding itself, AT&T can't stop. A year after the company spent a fortune--including a presence on the Super Bowl and the Olympics, and rebranding itself as "the new AT&T" after a merger with SBC--it's at it again. The massive effort begins this week, as another "new AT&T" push follows the merger with BellSouth. Now, Cingular Wireless will be rebranded as AT&T, and later this year, ads will emphasize the merger itself.

But what will happen to current Cingular sponsorships?

Cingular has a major sponsorship in place on Fox hit "American Idol," which will continue under that moniker when the show launches this week. But during the next few months, if AT&T officials determine that the effort to migrate consumer consciousness about Cingular to AT&T is a success, it could switch to the new brand on the show, a company spokesman said.

There are no plans to run a Super Bowl spot this time around, the spokesman said.

Interestingly, as a symbol of how much convergence is taking place in the communications arena, AT&T's new wireless operations will simply be known as "AT&T," with no "wireless" or "mobile" moniker attached.



Initially, the Cingular transition campaign will include both the AT&T and Cingular logos to represent the melding of the two. Some Cingular imagery--such as the orange color and "raising the bar" tagline--will be used as part of the transition.

Another campaign promoting the merger of BellSouth (which brought Cingular into the AT&T fold) and AT&T will take place later this year.

AT&T says 20% of savings from synergies from the BellSouth merger will come from advertising.

Meanwhile, clerks at a Cingular retail store in Manhattan were clueless on Friday, when asked about the coming name change.

An AT&T spokesperson said the retail store branding changeover will be evolutionary as in-store signage, point-of-sale materials and window clings are introduced over the next few weeks. Permanent signage will not change for a few months. Stores with highest visibility will be redressed first.

Approximately 2,000 nationwide company-owned wireless retail outlets and store kiosks nationwide will be transitioned.

In addition, approximately 15,000 store personnel will begin wearing AT&T branded apparel in the coming months.

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