Less of an eclectic, odd-couple partnership, this is pure ‘brand jacking’.
Early April saw hip hop insider Karen Civil release a promotion for rapper Future’s new album Honest in the form of a video for his single ‘You Deserve’ which samples footage from AT&T’s former ‘It’s Not Complicated’ ad campaign.
Some may call it a filmic homage, why others might just say the telco’s creative has been stolen – whatever your perspective the video is essentially an unaired AT&T commercial.
It features AT&T’s classic creative format – a straight man running a childs’ focus group.
AT&T’s brand ambassador and ad front man Beck Bennett sits down, as in so many other spots, with a group of kindergarten kids and discusses cars.
Bennett asks the kids whether he should get a fast car or a slow car.
The kids answer ‘A Fast Car’, to which Bennett asks ‘Why? and then the kids then begin to chant ‘Because You Deserve It’.
Cue Future’s ‘You Deserve It’ track – to which the kids gyrate in slow motion.
His ‘You Deserve It’ track, from debut album Pluto, and despite its positive reviews Future didn’t become a major star until afterwards.
But ‘You Deserve It’ certainly seemed to catch the attention of AT&T, which used it in a commercial that was shelved until now.
The AT&T music video was posted on 2 April to build awareness of and excitement around this month’s second studio album launch by Future called ‘Honest’ (which features guest appearances from US music royalty – including Pharrell Williams, Drake, Kanye_West and Lil_Wayne.
Future followed its posting by linking to a clip on his own Instagram feed captioned ‘Been a long time coming. honest 4/22/14 #thanks’.
Part of AT&T’s ‘Kids Say The Funniest Things’ style campaign, which began airing back in 2012, it is not known why this particular commercial never aired.
Among the very last AT&T spots in this long running series were:
‘It’s Not Complicated “Pool”’,
and ‘It’s Not Complicated “Cutest Grape”’
Both aired late last year.
March this year saw AT&T use its NCAA March Madness sponsorship right to launch a fresh marketing push under the tagline ‘Better Network’
This cute piece of musical brand jacking has racked up 61,000 YouTube views to date (25,000 of those came in the first 24 hours of release).
Not entirely unimpressive, but way behind the 19.5 million views of the new official video for Future’s new ‘Honest’ record (which is, well, a bit more ‘rap’ video cliché – complete with dripping gold jewellery, half naked women, a mansion and a pool).
Talk about an ambush – this appears more like a sneaky steal.
Our question, though, is whether or not AT&T will let it go or whether they’ll call in the lawyers.
Our view is why would they complain? What’s to gain?
And perhaps this is a case when the old marketing adage holds true – isn’t all publicity good publicity?