New Bell Atlantic Taps Maurice Sendak's

New Bell Atlantic Taps Maurice Sendak's 'Wild Things' For First Corporate Brand Advertising Campaign

Bell Atlantic Guides Customers Through Maze of Communications Choices Using Beloved Children's Characters

October 8, 1997

Media contacts:

Susan Kraus

John Bonomo


corporate brand advertising campaign since the merger of Bell Atlantic

and NYNEX. The new campaign features the timeless and colorful

characters of Maurice Sendak's classic, award-winning children's book

Where the Wild Things Are in their first appearance in mass media


The campaign uses print, broadcast and outdoor media, and will begin

Oct. 13 throughout Bell Atlantic's service area, which spans 13 states

and the District of Columbia. Teaser ads featuring the "wild things"

characters but without the Bell Atlantic brand began appearing Oct. 6

throughout the company's region.

Today's announcement, to be held at the flagship Barnes & Noble

bookstore at Union Square in New York City, will be made by Raymond W.

Smith, Bell Atlantic chairman and CEO; Bruce Gordon, the company's

group president for Retail Services; and long-time corporate

spokesperson James Earl Jones, who will open the event with a dramatic

reading of the classic children's book.

"As the industry grows more complex, we at Bell Atlantic recognize the

importance of helping our customers navigate the many communications

choices available to them," said Smith. "This new campaign reasserts

our commitment to our customers to help them meet their communications

needs on their own terms."

Where the Wild Things Are was first published in 1963 and has won

numerous awards including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Most

Distinguished Picture Book of the Year. The use of Maurice Sendak's

characters by Bell Atlantic marks the first time the wild things have

been used in broadscale mass-media advertising, including television.

The book tells the story of a tempestuous little boy named Max who

travels to a mysterious world inhabited by giant creatures. At first

Max is surprised by the wild things, but soon they make him king of

all wild things. "The book is a fitting metaphor for the current state

of the communications industry," said Gordon. "This campaign will

remind our customers -- and reassure them, too -- that we are there

for them through this figurative jungle of communications choices."

Long-time Bell Atlantic spokesperson James Earl Jones will serve as

the voice of the new campaign.

Branded teaser advertising -- outdoor and TV -- will break Oct. 13 with

the full campaign hitting airwaves and newspapers on Oct. 27. In

addition to one 15-second TV teaser and 60-second and 30-second TV

spots, the campaign will include a double-page newspaper spread, bus

shelter posters and two spectacular billboards in both Times Square and

spanning the facade of New York's Grand Central Station. Oversized

billboards also are planned for Philadelphia, Washington, DC, northern

New Jersey and Boston. The Lord Group in New York City is the

advertising agency that developed and created the campaign.

"The Bell Atlantic brand is very highly regarded among our

loyal customers," said Janet Keeler, Bell Atlantic vice president

for Brand Management and Marketing Communications. "The creative

elements of this new campaign reflect the state of the industry,

and capture the excitement of the new Bell Atlantic."

The new Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic

and NYNEX -- is at the forefront of the new communications,

information and entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone

access lines and 5.5 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell

Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice

and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's

largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies

are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global

communications markets, with operations and investments in 21