Cannes Lions

Xandr Brand Launch and Unveil: Make Advertising Matter

XANDR, New York / XANDR / 2019

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Overview

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Overview

Background

The advertising industry was craving an alternative to the duopoly. Marketers needed more options, better reporting and brand-safe environments to properly reach their audiences, while improving the consumer ad experience. AT&T was uniquely positioned to seize this moment in history and change advertising for the better – and did so through the launch of Xandr.

With more than 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships across wireless, video and broadband, and key advantages like data, premium content and advanced advertising technology at its disposal, Xandr’s launch strategy had to meet the considerable challenge of representing AT&T’s telecommunications legacy, while simultaneously launching a new advertising company with a markedly different approach to the industry.

How does a 143-year-old Fortune 7 company introduce a fresh new startup committed to making advertising matter? The answer, provided by Xandr, was as simple as it was audacious: Make it relevant.

Idea

To launch a new kind of advertising company, AT&T advertising & analytics was renamed “Xandr.” The name personifies AT&T’s history of innovation, its pioneering life-force and the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, Alexander Graham Bell. The logo was inspired by Bell’s invention, the tetrahedral kite, representing innovation, convergence and dimensionality. Six multicolored triangles come together at a central point, illustrating Xandr’s commitment to bring diverse ideas and data to life for brands, advertisers and publishers.

To embody its vision, Xandr selected a coral color palette for a fresh, new approach to an industry with more historic, traditional roots.

At Cannes, Xandr created buzz by wrapping the iconic Carlton Hotel in swaths of fabric from legacy AT&T blue to contemporary Xandr coral, a strikingly visual teaser for the Relevance Conference. The same gradient was used in conference branding, demonstrating a familial connection between the parent company and its new advertising business.

Execution

Xandr envisioned a three-tier approach to entice advertisers, publishers and the media to debate the future of advertising, while keeping the consumer front-and-center with one common purpose: Make Advertising Matter.

Spark Curiosity: Once the AT&T-Time Warner merger was approved, Xandr created buzz at Cannes, both from its parade of colors on the Carlton, to the unexpected rumor (which became reality) that it was acquiring AppNexus.

Create Relevance: But while the mystery got people talking, Xandr also took concrete steps to engage stakeholders. After Cannes, it was off to California and the launch of Xandr’s Relevance Conference. Xandr documented its brand reveal with an original video, while treating 300 industry luminaries and influencers to intimate discussions.

Impact and Differentiate: Xandr then hosted a day of programming for 200 clients at Advertising Week called “Rewriting the Next Chapter of Advertising,” topped off by a swanky party at Chelsea Piers.

Outcome

Xandr exhibited its company and technology to top brand and agency clients at the Relevance Conference and Advertising Week, while igniting a conversation about the new currency of consumer engagement: relevance.

Xandr also went straight to the consumer – asking them what they like and dislike about ads – with results that were shared in a branded industry report dubbed The Relevancy Report.

The launch resulted in 96 unique pieces of media coverage across trade, business, national press and tech publications, garnering 350MM impressions and continuing the engagement through Xandr’s Advertising Week day-of-programming.

Xandr grew revenues more than 20% on a comparable basis in the third quarter of 2018, emphasizing that adding the human element to advertising is not only good for the consumer, but also good for business.

Xandr closed out 2018 with a sizzle reel to capture its launch and subsequent results.