Ad Medium: TV (national) and YouTube
Overall Grade: A
Quick Review: If you ever feel like losing your faith in the goodness of humankind, read some comments of YouTube videos. There, the ignoramuses, nitwits, and racists of the world come out to argue in horribly misspelled English. So it is with regret that I took a glance at some of the comments left for AT&T’s “Rethink Possible” ad ,where a young man uses his AT&T smartphone to buy a last minute ticket to catch a train, where he meets his future wife, and they eventually give birth to the 57th President of the United States. The actors playing the man and woman are ambiguously cast- they could, in my view, be mixed race, Italian, Hispanic, Greek, Brazilian, etc. But because they are not typically Anglo looking, and because their ambiguous looks could very well be Hispanic, many people, whether right or wrong, assume that this ad shows the creation of the first Hispanic President of the U.S. And that has many YouTube commenters very upset.
In my opinion, this ambiguity is the genius of the ad. The ethnicity of the couple, and their son who becomes President, is never stated, but yes, they all look Hispanic, so AT&T sends a subtle wink and a nudge to the U.S. Hispanic audience, saying, “One day, there will be a Latino President. Make it happen with AT&T”. Many advertisers who want to reach Hispanics are told that the key is to focus on family, family, family. This ad has managed to feature the importance of the family in Latino life in a creative way. To the consternation of many YouTube commenters, AT&T is reaching out to the Hispanic market- and in my view, succeeding. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.