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  AT&T Daybreak
Rethinking Possible With Transmedia Storytelling
July 11, 2012

Plenty of people are happy just sitting through a television show, zipping through its commercials via DVR, and soaking in the passive experience.

But plenty are looking to be a little more involved in their entertainment and AT&T is taking the first steps to get them there. The brand just launched an action-adventure drama entitled Daybreak as a tale told through five online films, two websites, and, of course, a smartphone app.

And the company didn’t stint on the big names involved. Its creator is Tim Kring, whose latest hit on the small screen is Fox’s Touch with Kiefer Sutherland. The director of the first few episodes: Jon Cassar, who helmed Fox's previous TV series with Sutherland, a little drama you might have heard of called 24.

Kring explained in a blog post for AT&T that the branded entertainment project was inspired by his visit to AT&T Labs two years ago, a relationship that has come in handy because a mysterious element in the final three episodes of that series this season, the dodecahedron, is a central plot twist in Daybreak in a nifty bit of cross-promotion. The protagonist of Daybreak, Ben Wilkins, naturally, uses products and technologies made by AT&T to help save the world.

”Two years ago, when we established Rethink Possible as our brand idea, it was because we knew AT&T had a valuable story to tell. And our story is about innovation for human progress,” commented Esther Lee, AT&T SVP brand marketing and advertising, in a blog post on Daybreak’s launch. “Today, I am proud and excited (by) the next phase of Rethink Possible: Daybreak. This new marketing initiative was inspired by the ideas and commitment the people of AT&T demonstrate every day in driving innovation and striving to make Rethink Possible a reality, not just a tagline.”

The immersive and interactive entertainment experience combines an original story, dedicated microsite, specially created mobile app, print, television, digital teaser advertising, Hollywood and transmedia storytelling. Episodes debut on Thursdays and will continue for the end of June, and the app can be downloaded at

"You don't have to see both series to get value out of Daybreak,” commented David Lubars, BBDO North America chairman and chief creative officer, whose team executed the project. “It's a standalone piece of entertainment. But if you do see both [Touch and Daybreak], there's an extra dimension of connections you can make. Either way, we feel Ben's story will be engaging and spark many to delve even deeper into the characters and plotlines via the Daybreak websites and smartphone app" — which you can check out below:



Mark J. Miller writes a daily sports column for Yahoo! Sports and is a contributing writer to Crain's BtoB's Media Business magazine. His work has appeared in National Geographic Adventure, ESPN, The Washington Post,, I.D., and Glamour, among others.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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