Lily Returns for AT&T, as Milana Vayntrub Shoots New Ads at Home

Actress returns to role after three years away

After a nearly three-year hiatus, AT&T commercial spokes-character Lily Adams returns today in a pair of perky spots from BBDO L.A. and Critical Mass.

Now, instead of managing an AT&T store as she did in 40 previous commercials, Lily works from home, fielding customer queries about 5G and iPhones via video chat.

Actress Milana Vayntrub reprises her role, which she originally played from 2013 to 2017. Also a commercial director, Vayntrub filmed the ads in her residence with on-set assistance from her boyfriend. (We're told he's an architect, so he presumably knows a thing or two about homes.)

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Yeah, sourdough sucks. You tell 'em, Lily!

"Throughout the years we had seen a steady stream of social media comments about bringing Lily back, so we're excited that we found the right time to finally do it," AT&T vp of advertising and social media Marc Burns tells Muse. "She was always very loved in the original slate of ads, and we hope that love and familiarity will resonate with the mass audience we're targeting."

Vayntrub directed the new :30s with remote-controlled cameras and input from her crew at Hungry Man, who coordinated the workflow with video conferencing and editing applications.

"Bringing Lily back makes sense in this moment for so many reasons," Burns says. "She captures so many of the wonderful characteristics and spirit of our AT&T employees. She'll continue to shine a light on the work they do every day."

Last week, L'Oréal and McCann took a similar approach in a hair-coloring spot starring longtime spokesperson Eva Longoria, who directed the product demo from her house in L.A.

In other beloved-brand-character news, Progressive's Flo and Jamie never went away (cheers? groans?). Meanwhile, Jake from State Farm returned pre-pandemic, though he just doesn't seem like his old self.

CREDITS

Agency: BBDO, Critical Mass, Hearts & Science
Client: AT&T

AT&T:
SVP, Advertising and Marketing Communication: Valarie Vargas                                              
VP, Advertising and Social Media: Marc Burns
Director, Advertising: Dave Brown
Lead Manager, Advertising: Taylor Laughlin
Senior Manager, Advertising: Carter Crenshaw
Senior Manager, Advertising: Aaron Schwartz
Director, Diversity Advertising: Mariel Llenza
AVP, Digital Strategy and Performance: Melissa Smith
Digital Marketing Director: Masha Gaidouk
Lead Digital Marketing Manager: Tracy Threlkeld

BBDO:
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, Omnicom for AT&T: Matt MacDonald
Executive Creative Director: David Povill
Executive Creative Director: David Cuccinello
Creative Director: Eli Terry
Creative Director: Wendy Leicht
Creative Director: Cooper Olson
Copywriter: Ally Farrish
Art Director: Kory Brocious
Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
Executive Producer: Andrew Tucci

Managing Director: Rachel Nairn
Account Lead AT&T: Stacia Parseghain
Senior Director: Laura Perrizo
Senior Director: Shane Chastang
Account Director: Andrea Bass
Account Director: Allie Knill
Account Executive: Claire Sommer

Head of Strategy: Tim Millar
Communications Planning Director: Mac Russell
Planning Director: Alex Morrison
Planning Director: Reza Rostampisheh
Communications Planner: Kristen Farnam

Director of Project Management: Colin Vidika
Project Manager: Kelli Szymczak

CRITICAL MASS:
VP, Executive Creative Director: Frank Dattalo
Creative Director: Christiaan Welzel
Associate Creative Director: Kathryn Whiteside
Associate Creative Director: Eric Jorgensen
Art Director: Cam Benedict
Copywriter: Chantal Miyagishima
Designer: Taylor Lumley
Senior Producer: Sydney Woodman

EVP, Client Partner: Lisa Zandy
VP, Client Partner: Heather Livengood
Account Director: Austin Tatum
Senior Account Manager: Jack Rosenberg
Account Coordinator: Crystal Ling
VP, Group Strategy Director: Jared Folkmann
Strategist: Kelsey Chudiak
Program Director: Laurie Ma
Senior Project Manager: Sarah Dinham
Project Manager: Lina Barbon
Project Manager: Melissa Cavaliere

HEARTS & SCIENCE:
President Hearts & BBDO: Ralph Pardo
Managing Executive Director: Mike Venables
Executive Director, AT&T Consumer Media: Shanae Johnson
Executive Director, Digital Strategy: Theresa Fromm
Senior Director, Strategy: Adam Block
Senior Director, Strategy: Brian Diamond
Senior Director, Strategy: Christiana Messina
Senior Director, Digital Strategy: Denise Marchitto
Director Video, Strategy: Andres Torrente
Associate Director: Jeff Fisher

PRODUCTION PARTNERS:
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Milana Vayntrub
DP: Corey Walter
Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
Line Producer: Josh Goldstein

Editorial: Cut & Run Edit
Editor: Frank Effron
Executive Producer: Amburr Farls
Producer: Jared Thomas & Scott Lilly

Telecine Company: Framestore
Telecine Artist: Beau Leon

Conform/Finish Company: Jogger
Head of Production/Executive Producer: Diana Cheng
Lead Flame Artist: Andy Brown

Audio Finishing: Lime
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Mixer: Zac Fisher

Graphics: LVLY
Executive Producer: Bryce Edwards

Music Company: SOUTH
Chief Creative Director: Dan Pritikin

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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