The "m" is for mobile.
After weeks of cryptic television ads and less-than-informative billboards, AT&T Wireless this weekend is planning to come clean with "mlife," a rebranding and repackaging of the carriers voice and data services.
The mystery to mlife, which is due to be solved fully on Super Bowl Sunday according to postings on mlife.com, was partially blown Wednesday when AT&T Wireless CEO John Zeglis briefly alluded to the new branding campaign during a conference with analysts and investors held to discuss company earnings.
"Mlife is your life made truly mobile," Zeglis told analysts gathered in Redmond, Wash. "It is our vision of the way we can help people be truly free and always connected."
The tip ended a period of speculation, fueled mostly by the creators of mlife themselves, about what the term -- and the promise of services that will change peoples lives -- really meant.
While mlife is being touted with a robust teaser Web site, few clues are offered. Site visitors are urged to contribute guesses, with submissions ranging from "a new religion," to "a guide to West Coast microbreweries."
The mlife.com domain is registered to Alphie Inc., of Seattle, and the phone contact for the site belongs to Seattle attorney Brent Sanders, a lawyer with the firm of Perkins Coie, who specializes in Internet name disputes, according to the firms Web site. Sanders declined to answer any questions about the nature of mlife.
"I am not authorized to talk about it," he repeated.
But a search of the federal governments database of trademarks shows mlife listed to Alphie Inc. and describes the services as "telecommunications services, namely the transmission of voice, data, images, audio, video and information via telephone, satellite and global computer networks; wireless and cellular voice, data and paging services; voice messaging services; paging services; electronic mail services; wireless roaming services."
The new mlife rebranding campaign, which will start in earnest with the television ad during Sundays Super Bowl game according to Zeglis, comes just six months after AT&T Wireless canned its long-time advertising firm Foote Cone Belding in favor of New York-based Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, according to published reports. Ogilvy & Mather is now responsible for mass-market advertising, creative development and production for AT&T Wireless brand, the reports said. Ogilvy officials did not return calls seeking comment.
AT&T officials Thursday acknowledged the mlife campaign, but said officials who could comment on the matter were not immediately available. No new products or services are anticipated as part of the promotion, sources said. The mlife campaign will continue with a broadcast and print ad blitz including some three dozen television ads during next months Winter Olympics.