January 14, 2007
Branding: Cingular Jack’s Last Day Today, It’s AT&T Wireless Tomorrow
On Monday, tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to witness the initiation of one the biggest name changing efforts in recent history.
It seems as if re-educating millions of consumers will be a multi-step process, including inserts with monthly bills and promotional materials at Cingular stores. The Cingular name and (well loved) orange "Jack" logo, both of which are only six years old, will continue to appear next to the AT&T brand and blue "globe" logo until mid year. By then, the only memory we will have of Cingular is the orange color for "accent and background coloring for ATT’s cellular products and services," not unlike the Sprint Nextel logo change we previously blogged about — the integrating of the Sprint brand name and Nextel yellow and black color scheme.
The tagline will be, of course, "Raising it Higher," and the company will have to change all of the signage at retail locations and kiosks as well as the uniforms for 15,000 retail personnel.
In all the talk about the end of Cingular, it might also be noted that this marks the end of Bell South. Mark Pritchard on Metroblogging San Francisco notes that Cingular will join a virtual graveyard of forgotten mobile phone brands, including Pacific Bell, SBC and AirTouch. He also notes that you can get great deals on Cingular stuff online. I’m sure a few years from now a Cingular t-shirt will be kind of retro.
There will also of course be a new ad campaign that, as Pritchard says, will see AT&T "spend more billions of dollars to erase the impression that it spent billions of dollars to create over the last two years."
AT&T's press release assures us that its efforts will "transfer Cingular's strong brand equity to the new AT&T." I think that, as reported in AdWeek, the brand transition technique AT&T is employing in its advertising to transition from the Cingular brand to the AT&T brand will enhance its chances of a successful brand name transition.
As usual, time will tell. But with billions to spend, is there any doubt that the Cingular brand will be barely remembered by most consumers? Will consumers embrace AT&T as cool and hip as Cingular’s Jack? Again, only time will tell.
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