Cingular Fades Into Blue

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will start the rebranding of Cingular Wireless on Monday, launching an ad campaign that will dramatically alter the face of the No. 1 wireless operator in the U.S.

AT&T planned to move all of its operations under its name after the merger with BellSouth was completed. The firm says its "multimedia" campaign will include "transitioning the Cingular brand to AT&T in advertising and customer communications, throughout websites and nationwide retail stores, and on company buildings and vehicles." The ads will initially include a transitional graphic with both the AT&T and Cingular logos as the company tries to cement the association between the two brands. (See Cingular: The Call of the WiFi.)

Plenty of "equity" still exists in the Cingular marquee, as Glenn Lurie, Cingular's president of national distribution, told journalists at a Cingular press conference on Wednesday at CES in Vegas.

He said that it wasn't yet clear when Cingular would move entirely to AT&T branding on its phones. For instance, the new Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone will incorporate the transitional branding on its screen -- but Lurie wasn't saying when Cingular might move the hot new devices entirely to the AT&T brand. (See Ceragon Reports on Year.)

It's hardly surprising that AT&T is being cautious about potentially confusing or alienating Cingular customers. In just six years of existence, the operator has become arguably the most recognizable brand on the U.S. cellular scene. In fact, the company will incorporate many familiar elements of Cingular's marketing in its new ads. The campaign will kick off with ads called "Raising It Higher," which morphs Cingular's familiar "raising the bar" tag line and imagery into the AT&T globe. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

Be the first to post a comment regarding this story.
Sign In