When AT&T began running their series of advertisements about the consequences of having “no bars” wherever the narrator of the commercial was, many took these commercials as funny. Oh no, a costumed dinosaur is going to come to the kids birthday party and scare all the kids. Oh, my snotty tween child is speaking in text speak (“IDK, my BFF – Jill?”) But the last two of these AT&T advertisements released in the New York City area have much more sobering complications; the first one was still taken as light but it wasn’t until the most recent commercial aired that I thought back on the more subtle implications about what the carrier was saying about their product.
“Alarm Code” – The first of these more sobering commercials was about the guy who was staying with his friend but could not get the message about his friends “alarm code.” So when there is this stranger in a home where he is not the resident and he can’t turn the alarm code off, he is hauled off to jail. This commercial was at first cute because of the guy’s reaction: “We’re spending the night down at County; going to make some new friends; Awesome.” The narrator of the commercial seems to be making a joke about his experience as a non-criminal in a jail cell of some kind. (Translation: Get AT&T Cellular service or when you are visiting friends, you could be hauled off by Big Brother and raped.)
This commercial didn’t really resonate until the newest commercial came out; which, I think, crossed some line, somewhere.
“Newscaster” – So there is this guy, he’s a newscaster or field reporter and he’s covering a demolition of a building; the blast zone has changed and he and his crew are now in it. I don’t know why he’d be all by himself at a demolition or how he got inside the blast zone or why a professional demolition crew would really set off explosives without first checking their newly changed perimeter, but, that’s television. Be that as it may, the guys closing line is: “I’m covering the blast for the news and I’m about to become the news.” (Translation: Get AT&T Cellular service or you will die.)
The last analysis of why one needs to get AT&T cellular seems a little harsh and this is my point. Doesn’t AT&T think that with the current economic problems, the change in government, the ongoing war, and the general malaise going on in the world and in America today that it would get more business if it stopped running fear-monger commercials and maybe just start speaking in text again?