Sponsored By

AT&T Sends Strong Signal in New AdsAT&T Sends Strong Signal in New Ads

New commercials boast that AT&T has the 'strongest 4G LTE signal strength,' as the big four US carriers shake up their marketing messages and marketing execs.

Sarah Thomas

March 16, 2015

3 Min Read
AT&T Sends Strong Signal in New Ads

AT&T is hoping to its associate its network with a new moniker, "strongest 4G LTE signal," and it's enlisting the help of four of basketball's greatest to make the new tagline stick.

The carrier is running a series of commercials around March Madness with retired basketball all-stars Shaquille O'Neal, Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner centered on its claim to have the strongest 4G LTE signal.

So what makes an LTE signal the strongest, you ask? AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) CMO David Christopher tells CNet it's related to reliability and means its customers won't experience service interruptions like video buffering or songs skipping.

Check out the new commercials, which AT&T plans to run during March Madness this month.

Read more about carriers' LTE marketing strategies on the dedicated 4G LTE content channel here on Light Reading.

How the wireless operators market their networks matter as reputations tend to stick, whether they are true universally or not. For example, people tend to associate Verizon Wireless with the most reliable network -- something it charges a premium for, AT&T with the fastest speeds and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) with unlimited data pricing, because that's how they've always positioned themselves. T-Mobile US Inc. is, of course, shaking up all of these monikers with its new messaging as the "uncarrier." It has encroached on AT&T's speed claims, while AT&T has laid claim to being the most reliable in the past year. (See Sprint & T-Mobile CEOs Tweet-Battle Over Super Bowl Ads, Verizon Still Best Network, RootMetrics Finds and AT&T Claims Most Reliable 4G LTE Network.) It doesn't matter so much that "strongest data signal" is a somewhat ambiguous idea and that AT&T won't share where it gets the data to back up the claim. It just matters because it's a metric that resonates with consumers. Four basketball legends and smartly delivered inside jokes will help too, I'm sure. I imagine we'll see more marketing shake-ups going forward. For one thing, new reports continuously come out that give the wireless operators new bragging rights. T-Mobile, for example, has passed Verizon and AT&T for fastest networks in certain areas in several studies, while RootMetrics says that Sprint has passed T-Mobile in best overall network performance -- a bragging right you can bet Sprint is promoting. (See OpenSignal: T-Mobile's LTE Is Fastest and Sprint Versus T-Mobile: Which Metrics Matter?) We'll also see new messaging because, with the exception of AT&T's Christopher, the other wireless operators all have new faces in the CMO slot. T-Mobile just recently appointed Andrew Sherrard as CMO. Sprint replaced CMO Bill Malloy with Jeff Hallock in February of last year, but Hallock is set to leave the company soon with no replacement named as of now. And, Nancy Clark replaced Ken Dixon as Verizon CMO last fall. (See More Executive Shake-Ups at Sprint .) Both Verizon CFO Fran Shammo and AT&T CFO John Stephens made comments at the Deutsche Bank conference last week that the price wars in the US have started to cool down, but -- with new faces and new metrics to discuss (and T-Mobile's next uncarrier event this week) -- it's clear the marketing wars won't slow down anytime soon. (See AT&T, Verizon CFOs Predict Title II Litigation.) — Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like