AT&T Wireless Super Bowl Ad Solves mlife Mystery

NEW YORK — After about a week of teaser ads, AT&T Wireless will unveil the mystery of “mlife” in a 60-second Super Bowl XXXVI commercial on Sunday.

The spot shows various belly buttons concluding with a birth scene. The metaphor: AT&T Wireless lets you live an untethered life.

The 60-second commercial will follow four teaser spots during the game. Since the campaign broke last week, AT&T Wireless has run TV spots showing various man-on-the-street types talking about an “mlife.”

AT&T Wireless, a unit of AT&T, did not disclose spend for the new campaign. Ogilvy & Mather, New York, won the estimated $400 million account in June.

Initial ads promote the wireless lifestyle while later efforts will be more specific about the carrier’s services. John Zeglis, chairman/CEO of AT&T Wireless, said he’s not concerned if the ads promote general wireless usage. “It’s OK if it lifts the whole industry,” he said.

Shelly Lazarus, chairman/CEO of Ogilvy, said so far the wireless category is “without a leader,” and AT&T Wireless has a good shot at taking the mantle.

After the Super Bowl, the unit will break a spot at the Olympics showing two competing speed skaters taunting each other by sending a text message of their best times.

–Todd Wasserman