AT&T Ad Set to 'Unveil' Global Network

By Phyllis Furman, Daily News, New York

–On Super Bowl Sunday, AT&T customers will learn what really keeps them connected around the world.

The telecom giant, which was just acquired by SBC Communications, plans to air a commercial that will “unveil” the global network customers never see, the company is set to announce today.

The 30-second spot uses special effects to make the world look transparent — revealing AT&T’s hidden telecom network. It will air nationally during the Super Bowl pre-game coverage between the coin toss and kick-off, AT&T execs told the Daily News.

The same commercial will also run during the game in the 13 states served by the former SBC, which are primarily in the Midwest, the West and Connecticut.

The high-tech ad is part of a massive AT&T campaign created by ad agencies GSD&M and Rogers Townsend, that kicked off on New Year’s Eve.

Already being called the most ambitious ad blitz of the year, the AT&T spots feature rock group Oasis singing “All Around the World” and have the tag line “Your World. Delivered.”

Following the Super Bowl, AT&T will aim to hook up more customers with spots during the Olympic games in Turino, Italy. In all, the former Ma Bell is said to forking over as much as $1 billion to prove the SBC merger has made more complete and secure. AT&T declined to comment on its ad budget.

AT&T joins a list of blue-chip marketers forking over the big bucks to be showcased during Super Bowl XL, set to air on ABC on Feb. 5.

Other advertisers include Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, PepsiCo, Burger King and Bayer’s Aleve.

Prices for 30-second spots this year have hit a dizzying $2.5 million up 4.2 percent from last year’s $2.4 million.

SBC, which has showcased local and national ads during the Super Bowl before, bought AT&T for $16 billion in November. The company chose to keep the fabled 120-year old AT&T name.

The telecom is locked in a heated rivalry with Verizon, which also recently purchased MCI.