July 5, 2011

TV One, Radio One and AT&T Join Forces to Launch Inspirational African Americans Campaign Featuring Tyrese


Campaign Uses Vignettes to Tell the Stories of Four Inspirational and Successful African Americans

NEW YORK R&B singer, songwriter, actor, former fashion model, and now author Tyrese Gibson, who grew up in Watts around "drugs, drama and dysfunction" but believed in himself and charted his own successful career path after winning a talent contest at the age of 14. Gibson is also a passionate spokesperson for Communities In Schools, the nation's largest dropout prevention organization.

AT&T and One Solution, the integrated corporate marketing arm of TV One and Radio One, have joined forces on a new consumer awareness campaign to bring the AT&T Rethink Possible® tagline to life. This cross-platform campaign is designed to engage and inspire consumers to rethink what is achievable in their own lives via an online sweepstakes, "Imagine the Impossible," at BlackPlanet.com and televised vignettes featuring four interviews of influential African Americans who are changing the world we live in and demonstrating limitless potential. Iconic Achievers can be seen on TV One with exclusive content available at att.net/iconicachievers, U-verse Free On Demand, or U-verse Mobile App.

"We are glad to partner with One Solution because of their reach in the African American community, one of AT&T's key diverse markets for growth," said Jennifer Jones, vice president, AT&T Diverse Markets. "This campaign brings to life our Rethink Possible® brand philosophy through inspiring, culturally relevant content that encourages consumers to imagine endless possibilities."

Profiled in the in the Iconic Achievers vignettes are:

R&B singer, songwriter, actor, former fashion model, and now author Tyrese Gibson, who grew up in Watts around "drugs, drama and dysfunction" but believed in himself and charted his own successful career path after winning a talent contest at the age of 14. Gibson is also a passionate spokesperson for Communities In Schools, the nation's largest dropout prevention organization.

Jennifer Jones Austin, senior vice president of Community Investment for the United Way of New York City, who started out to be a corporate lawyer until she felt called to work on behalf of children after reading an article about a young man who murdered his father after enduring years of abuse. Austin is also a leukemia survivor, whose battle with the disease spurred thousands to register as bone marrow donors.

Mario Armstrong, a lifestyle technology entrepreneur and blogger who is working to educate people to leverage technology to enhance their personal and professional lives and is on a mission to eliminate digital illiteracy.

Playwright Lynn Nottage, whose inspiration from growing up with two civically and politically involved parents in Brooklyn led her to a powerful writing career, in which she often writes about the complex lives of women without power, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined that is being produced into a film by Oprah's Harpo Productions and HBO. Lynn's newest play, By the Way Meet Vera Stark, opened in New York to rave reviews in May 2011.

AT&T and One Solution selected these individuals because they embody the spirit of Rethink Possible®. The Iconic Achievers vignette series will run in 30-second spots on TV One with special excerpts on tvoneonline.com and BlackPlanet.com. The full 15-30 minute interviews of Gibson, Jones Austin, Armstrong, and Nottage are available exclusively on the AT&T U-verse platforms.

"We are very proud to join with AT&T on this unique and innovative partnership," said TV One and Radio One Chief Revenue Officer Keith Bowen, who noted that recent studies show that African Americans watch more television than any other ethnic group, as well as use Twitter and other forms of social media in above average numbers. "It's a campaign that really speaks to the African American consumer with simple, yet powerful and aspirational messages, via some of the most effective traditional and social media platforms designed specifically to reach African Americans."

The "Imagine the Impossible" online sweepstakes, which is presented by AT&T, gives consumers and BlackPlanet.com members the opportunity to enter for a chance to win $500 or a lunch date with one of the four influential African Americans by submitting their personal stories of how they beat adversity through hard work and dedication, or the use of technology. The online sweepstakes ends August 25, 2011. For official contest rules, visit http://groups.blackplanet.com/Imagine_the_impossible.

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