The Billion Dollar TV Commercial

April 17, 2012 7:39 am

This direct marketing TV commercial I wrote helped AT&T earn a billion dollars in new receivables.

You’d think this might make my client happy. But it accidentally set off a huge firestorm.

The balance transfer program offer was stealing thousands of customers an hour from the big banks. Just like the buzz saw in the commercial, it was completely shredding their business.

Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except for one teensy detail. These banks also happened to be AT&T’s biggest long-distance customers.


The banks screamed bloody murder.

AT&T had us kill the spot immediately.

No doubt some extensive groveling had to be done to appease the wounded bankers. I imagine this happened over expansive platters of white truffles harvested from a secret farm in the Marche region of Italy near Aqualanga, farm-raised saddle of Austrian venison with red cabbage and polenta, and copious amounts of 1982 Chateau Haut Brion Pessac-Lognan.

But I can’t really be sure what was on the menu. Understandably, they didn’t invite me.

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