'The Revolution' coming soon to a mobile device near you!

The other night I saw a commercial for AT&T while watching the Patriots game and the tagline was, “The revolution will be mobilized.” It was surprisingly a really eye catching commercial announcing a merger between AT&T and DirecTV, but the tagline got me thinking…’Aren’t we already there?’ ‘Aren’t we all on our mobile devices as it is?’ What revolution are they talking about?

Watch the commercial before reading any further.


Long story short, the commercial was really more about the limitless stream of data that AT&T, now merging with DirecTV, will be offering to you for a most likely over-inflated price. Anyways, I really liked the commercial. I’m pretty sure that’s Steve Carrell  (I might be wrong) narrating as well, but the smooth images and corny metaphors really struck a chord with me, which is surprising because I hate commercials, especially after only watching one NFL play sandwiched between a multitude of commercials….but I digress.

As the crow flies, we all view far too many commercials as it is, but this one was surprisingly well done. While I neither use any of AT&T or DirecTV’s products, indeed I was impressed (Here I am writing about it- of course). But I wanted to get into the main message of the commercial, which is something far more interesting than the announcement of a partnership between AT&T and DirecTV. The end of the commercial was a slogan that read, “The Revolution Will Be Mobilized!” – written in white bold lettering and jubilantly yelled at the end. It caught me off guard, and I thought, “Damn..that’s catchy.”

Yes, but what does it mean? I found myself thinking more and more about it because if you take the ad literally, it’s actually quite disturbing, yet profoundly true to modern day society. What do I mean by that? Well, in the palm of our hands nowadays, we possess more computing power than all of NASA did during the Moon landing of 1969, yet none of us are actually using our handheld devices for anything close to that level of computing, instead mostly scrolling through social feeds of other people living their lives in various other moments. (Not to make total assumptions because there’s huge power and benefit to having all that computing power within our hands, but you see the first point).

So, that got me thinking…and instead of ranting about how too many people are glued to their phones, tablets, tv’s, computers and other devices, I began to really tip my hat to AT&T and DirecTV for this ad. Besides the obviously dystopian converse of this ad that highlights a dim future which we’re all painlessly captivated by screens, this ad took the trends of society and gave them charismatic life, celebrating our savvy digital selves in a very, very clever advertisement.

Overall, I think AT&T and DirecTV hit a grandslam on this ad and I wanted to write about it because indeed, this is the way things are trending. No longer are days where families congregate around the TV and share moments, but rather individuals of families either consumer entirely on tablets or iPads, as well as their phones in front of the general television, unless they have one in their room. This often takes form in the phrase of, “Second screen experiences,” or even “Third screen experiences” where media is consumed at 2 or 3 times the normal rate of just over a decade ago. And it occurred to me (obviously) that this is what AT&T and DirecTV were getting at with their catch phrase of, “The revolution will be mobilized.” I mean, honestly, aren’t you sifting through various apps at the same time while watching TV?

Nothing too ‘new’ or groundbreaking here, but I did want to comment on what I thought was a very 21st century commercial. In a world where everything is said to be more connected and social, I find many of these smart devices, are actually making us less ‘social’ despite viewing 7 or 8 times more media than a decade ago in 2005.

Lastly, I wanted to leave you with some interesting stats I found from www.smartinsights.com about mobile marketing in 2015. You might have already figured these out on your own, but again they’re super interesting…take a peek at some of their graphs and facts below.

1) Mobile Media Time is Greater Than Desktop and Other Media Sources 

In the US, the latest data shows that mobile media time is at 51% edging desktop and other sources at 42%. (As of midway through 2015)


2) Mobile vs Desktop Device Usage 

As of midway through 2015 the time spent on vertical screens (I.E phones) is at 29% while the overall time spent on horizontal screens (tablets, computers, smart phones) is at 71%.


3) Mobile Ad Spend still lags behind Mobile Media Consumption 

The major takeaway fact is that despite TV consumption going down in the past half decade, more people are still throwing money at traditional commercials, as opposed to cheaper and more affordable ads for mobile devices. Why is this? See the graph below for the full lay out.


Overall, this is becoming a ‘mobilized’ world and the trends proving it are fascinating. I recently read through a VICE News grapevine that Americans on the whole, tend to pull out and check their smart phone a whopping 150 times a day on average. Despite my repeated attempts at placing my phone in a different area and ‘unplugging’ so to speak, these numbers and trends are a clear indication that our society as a whole, is indeed going digital and mobile. Are we now forever plugged in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Feel free to drop me a line at cam@inphantry.com or tweet us @INPHANTRY