STAMFORD, Conn. -- GTE Corp. today launches a major television advertising campaign that signals a new GTE, and positions the company, for the first time, as a national and international telecommunications provider.
Called "People Moving Ideas," the corporate brand campaign is part of GTE's $100 million-plus annual advertising budget. It was created for GTE by Ogilvy & Mather, New York.
The TV campaign kicks off March 11 with prime time ads on "The Drew Carey Show," and "Law & Order" and follows with spots on such shows as "Seinfeld," "3rd Rock from the Sun" and "Dateline." Ads also are slated for cable channels A&E;, CNBC, CNN, Discovery, ESPN and Headline News.
GTE also will have considerable involvement in high-profile professional tennis and golf broadcasts such as Wimbledon and the GTE Bryon Nelson Classic, as well as a meaningful presence on Sunday morning news shows.
"With telecommunications providers competing fiercely on all fronts, consumers can't distinguish one telecom company from another," said Glen Gilbert, vice president - advertising and social responsibility. "People Moving Ideas carves out a distinctive and compelling positioning for our brand - a positioning that singles out GTE and lifts us above the rest of the pack.
"At the same time, it dispels some old notions of GTE left over from the days when we were the local telephone company -- perceptions that are simply out of line with what we've become and where we're headed," Gilbert said.
The ads open with shots of planes, trucks and trains -- representing companies that move cargo and freight -- followed by a close-up of a large, compelling eye that dissolves into a telephone handset. The ads then cut to fast-moving images of GTE employees, interspersed with telecommunications services, and end with the written tagline, "People Moving Ideas."
"There's a company out there in the business of moving things. It's not a trucking company. It's not a shipping company. And it doesn't carry packages overnight," says the voiceover. "It's a company in the business of moving ideas. Via long distance, wireless, video, Internet, Airfone, directories and local telephone lines."
GTE Employees Are the Ads' Stars
Gilbert said GTE's decision to showcase employees rather than use a celebrity endorser reflects both the campaign's theme and employees' role in the company's overall success.
"We could think of no more appropriate, more compelling, more believable ambassadors for the GTE brand than GTE employees themselves. After all, it is our employees who move ideas for the benefit of our customers, and no one can tell our story more genuinely than they can," Gilbert said.
In addition to the television campaign, GTE will continue its print advertising, begun in January, in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron's BusinessWeek, the Financial Times, Fortune and The Economist.
With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states; nationwide long-distance and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies; as well as video service in selected markets.
Outside the United States, the company serves more than 7 million telecommunications customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger telecommunications.