AT&T Michigan Avenue Flagship “After Hours”


Executive Creative Director


After the store closes at 8pm, everything goes dark, as if we don’t care. We were asked to find a way to keep the store alive and let people know that AT&T was there for their customers even when they are closed for the evening.


The first step was to humanize the brand. AT&T suffered from its perception as a megabrand. So we used real people, in this case the customer service reps and took them out on the town. They showed us the places they like to hang out after hours. For two days, myself and another photographer took over two thousand photos of these fun people sharing time together at pizza parlors, the Willits Tower, local clubs, and more. These photos became the background, in black and white, of what we called the ‘jewel box’ effect. All 132 displays in the store we taken over with a colored overlay one color at a time – first orange, then green, magenta, purple and blue. The animated effect attracts attention that can be seen on the corner site from passing cars and pedestrians. Text called out actions like discover, explore, and connect. We also included 800 numbers and web addresses so customers could get help after hours.


This highly successful campaign attracted attention in a number of ways. The President of AT&T Mobility used it in employee conferences as an example of how to effectively communicate the brand to its customers. Customers are allowed to remain in the store between 8pm and 9pm while they complete purchases and plans. They often recognize the rep helping them when they see their faces on the screens. The CSR’s have rallied around the effort with camaraderie and loyalty to their brand. So this one is a win, win, win. A solid step toward humanizing the brand.