Val Vargas is senior vice president of AT&T’s Advertising & Creator Lab, where she is responsible for AT&T Entertainment Group’s advertising and social media. Vargas’ latest effort centers on the company’s new “Terms & Conditions” ad campaign starring actor Mark Wahlberg, as well as its multiyear, multifaceted deal with musician Taylor Swift.
Vargas has been tasked with communicating AT&T’s massive corporate pivot from a telecom company to an entertainment company to the mass market. AT&T’s “Terms & Conditions” campaign with Wahlberg focuses on the benefits of bundled entertainment, which clearly is AT&T’s goal with its acquisition of DirecTV and its pending move to purchase Time Warner.
"The message we’re sharing in this campaign is more than a new product or offer. It’s a pivotal shift in how we approach our business,” Vargas explained to Campaign US. While the company’s competitors focus on unlimited data, Vargas said that AT&T is working to explain how it is focusing instead on giving customers "the entertainment they want, when and where they want it."
AT&T’s deal with Taylor Swift is perhaps even more revealing of this strategy: The carrier is working with Swift to create, among other things, Taylor Swift Now, a “video experience created exclusively by AT&T and Taylor that will showcase unique videos, concert performances, behind-the-scenes footage and more from the Taylor Swift archives,” according to the carrier. .
AT&T’s launch of its DirecTV Now streaming TV service, its work to bundle HBO content with its TV and wireless offerings, and its Swift content reflect how important this strategy is. It’s AT&T’s big bet. And Vargas’ role within AT&T—the executive charged with communicating this to customers—is clearly paramount.