AT&T kicks off Lumia 920 ad campaign with comedian Will Arnett

On Saturday Night Live last night, AT&T and Nokia kicked off their advertising for the Nokia Lumia 920. In a new ad featuring Arrested Development’s Will Arnett, the 920 was the featured device with the idea of “Working for Will”.

The conceit of the ad is that Arnett is looking for a new personal assistant after his last “Todd” was replaced by the Lumia 920 and he decided to quit. The interview? Simply go to AT&T’s site and there you can play with a virtual 920 where you ad and remove tiles, choose colors and basically get to experience the Windows Phone 8 UI.

The commercial is quite funny and we haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love Arnett, so in our book AT&T has done pretty well here. And seeing as the ad premiered during Saturday Night Live and we imagine will go into regular rotation, we see this a great move.

Head to AT&T’s site for more info ( and let us know in comments what you think of the campaign. Thanks, fahdriyami and aubreyq for the links!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Come on!!
  • For the uninitiated:
  • Lol good one
  • The commercial was bad, and you should feel bad.
  • This ad is pretty terrible, not gonna lie. I don't care about how funny Will Arnett is/isn't. This commercial is more about his jokes than it is the phone. That makes for a bad commercial in my opinion.
  • Microsoft has the perfect ads for Windows Phone 8 in the "Meet My Windows Phone" ads similar to the Steve Ballmer one and the new UK ad featuring TV personality Holly. This one doesn't feel memorable and you actually forget that its a phone ad halfway through.
    Pay a king's ransome to get Jessica Alba to rock her phone in an ad.  The other ad thats going to run during the NFL is gret too. A phone for each of us is an awesome tagline.
  • That's because this is an AT&T's Lumia ad, not a Microsoft's WP8 ad.
  • Another reason why Apple manages to sell iPhones by the boatload. They have gotten every carrier to run Apple ads not carrier ads for the iPhone.
    Microsoft needs to flood their own Windows Phone ads so the stinch of this Will Arnett ad gets drowned out.
  • I stopped reading @ Jessica alba and rock her.
  • Nokia i already got the Lumia 920 cuz i know about phones ,but really who's gonna buy the Lumia with this trashy commercial, instead of showing the phone features, super sensitive screen,the camera, wireless charging you Como up with this really like this you won't do any good writer down on paper.
  • Love this. 
  • The phone is hardly featured in the ad. I hope they plan other ads and this isn't just it.
  • It gets people to the site that lets them see more details about the phone.  There are people who care about the phone, and there are people who need a hook.  This a hook and it gets them to the site, where it's all about the Lumia
  • Horrible spot.
  • Come on!!!
  • You do realize a lot of people purchase their phones based on what celebrities use them? In fact, I got a text from a friend last night asking about the 920 after he had seen this commercial. So don't think that just because we all want specs shown off that that means everyone else does too.
  • Well said. All the phone geeks here think like phone geeks, and think all the ads should be aimed at phone geeks. Phone ads are rarely about a slew of specs. They keep it simple.
  • I think people are thinking like consumers and sharing what they know is effective advertising. This ad shows me nothing about what this device is about and no, I don't want to go to a website and take unnecessary steps to figure it out. Tell and show me why I should even think of considering a Nokia 920
  • It might be for some. But I find it hard to think its a sizeable amount. I think featuring celebs in these commercials help somewhat. But ultimately, its ads showing why you should buy (whether accurate or not) one phone over another through the use of its features. 99% of Apple's ads don't involve a celebrity. They involve the device and showing features and creating good feeling with using a catchy tune to create awareness. Heck, that SG3 commercial showing how you can exchange playlist doesn't involve a celeb. It involves a feature of the phone.
  • A lot of people really don't think beyond "a celebrity has it, I must too", or "it's so pretty/got the wow factor, it will make my friends jealous". I know a lot of people who just want a sexy phone, be able to make calls, send texts and play angry birds :P
  • Yeah, I've seen Apple ads where they only show smiling people taking photos & videos - with nothing technical or special to iPhones. You might say "my mobile can do that, why do I need to buy this one?". A lot of the time they are just selling the sexiness of their devices, and I see Nokia doing that too. Having said that, this particular ad does miss the mark ;)
  • What a metaphore for the Windows Phone so far. How many failed (but crittically acclaimed) shows has Will Arnett been on. I did not understand this commercial. Is the contest real or a joke and it doesn't really tell me anything about the phone.
  • If you visit the website you'll realize it's a real contest.
  • Terrible, show off this beautiful phone
  • The commercial us okay. The purpose isn't to show off the phone. It's to give people something to do... which is go to the website and customize a phone to enter a contest. On the site they are introduced to the UI of WP. They see how they can use it to describe who they are.
  • As a commercial it was still kinda funny. My biggest issue is that the virtual phone on the site is a bit buggy and clunky to use. It really doesn't give the full effect of the ease of the 920 or the personality of it since you don't have accounts to link.
  • Much to my surprise, they shot a lot of footage. I customized my phone, and Will Arnett started talking to me about my yellow phone and the fact that I added all apps. So they must have recorded video for quite a few options. 
  • LOL yeah, I customized a yellow Lumia, too. Put green theme on it.
  • #trash
  • Nah guys, I like the campagne. They set up this sort of social contest, so if you customize your phone and go through it to the end, they ask you to share it on your social networks to get your friends to vote for you. So they're using social to get people looking at it. It's kind of a good idea. Sure I wish there were adds really showing people how the phone is quite different and awesomely different, but this gets people face to face and interacting with the idea of live tiles, and spreading it sociallyl. 
  • But you're asking people to take an extra step (going to website) when,in this age of information quick and fast, they want to know now why I should buy this phone. I hate using Apple as an example. But they've got it down to a science. They tell me right in the commercial that Siri is going to find a pizza place just buy asking it. Whether its really that great or not is not even the point. Its Apple giving you features right then and there. Not asking you to go to a website to play a game or enter a contest to get an idea on what the product is
  • what a stupid ad. AT&T could have done much better
  • You're welcome, Daniel.
  • At&t probably has more experience in advertising than people badmouthing this ad I'm confident they know how to sell phones and I'm confident they will sell phones if the ad piques your interest even just enough to get you on their website or into an at&t store the price and specs and general sexiness of the Lumia 920 (currently typing this on my red one) will probably get you to buy it.
  • +1
  • I saw this ad Thursday during the Elementary episode. As far as I'm concerned, the Lumia 920, in all of it's glory, is featured front and center and looks marvelous! The attractiveness of this phone alone is enough to get folks into ATT stores to check out and buy this device...that's the goal.
  • Oh wow, the ad campaign started earlier then.
  • Aubreyq...On second thought, it might have been during Person of Interest or Blue Bloods; but it was definitely shown during a commercial break of CBS show :)
  • Meh
  • For those hating please understand the importance of people actually using the interface and believing others find it cool outweighs the spec sheet. Just ask Apple.
  • +1
  • I thought the commercial was fine. This commercial is no different than the Microsoft aired during NFL, Will's phone. Besides MacBook Air commercial didn't show features either, just going into the envelope.
  • OMG! They showed something like this during the NFL!!!! WTF? Talk about how to really execute yourself!!!! Surely someone at MS must know how to hire a decent ad agency ?????????
  • Im not even watching this..
  • Good man.
  • Why does require Flash?
  • Don't bother it REALLY isn't worth it.
  • Who the heck is Will Arnett and why should I care??? Verizon has a better add line than ATT and they're the "premier" retailer...pfffftt... I went to an ATT store and saw the WP8 displays and they sucked, no HTC 8X on display only a black and white 920 and no variety in colors. ATT kiss my a$$...
  • I like it. Its a start :/
  • This commercial sucked!
  • If you look beyond the "horrible" commercial, it's actually a great campaign. The website is awesome. I wonder how many variations of that "interview" video they had to make.
  • Based on this advert nobody will got to
    It's awful and having just checked the web site it's more awful than the ad!
    Soon MS will run out of advertising dollars and then what!?
  • WTF???
    I just called all AT&T stores near by my area , they all are out of Lumia 920. :(..........
  • No. We need cool, not comedic.
  • Yes we need Cool correct !!!
  • This is the type of advertising that MUST happen:
  • That is not bad but they need to add RELEVANT lifestyle ads also. The content has to include "How does this make your life better?" And DON'T model some rich show off. Do you see Samsung or Apple doing this? No! Do you see their advertising failing? No! A 30 second segment showing how grandma can use skype quickly and easily to see her grandchild half way across the world is more compelling than an advert that tries to say the same lifestyle improvement message but in a completely unrepresentative way!
  • The ad wasn't that bad, however it was/is forgettable.
  • As an Arrested Development and 30 Rock fan, I gotta tell you, a lot of people will take a look at this phone because a lot of people will enter the contest in order to meet him, me included. It's not the best ad, but it was decent and it had Will, that's plenty for many to take a glance at the phone and then the phone can speak for itself.
  • Todd (personal assistant) = Siri = Not needed on Windows Phone 8
  • Whilst I don't think the Surface ads are brilliant they are at least clearly thought out and the people making them actually understand the target audience and how to go about attracting them. This advert could have come from the filthy rich uncaring 80's It is so terrible I think my eyes are burning. The main target demographic is the young and hopefully cool crowd along with middle income 9-5 people.
  • I am just surprised to see him holding a Windows Phone.  I love his current show "Up All Night," but the show is like a weekly 30-minute Apple commercial.  The shows are loaded with Macs and iPads and iPhones.  It would be great to see a Windows Phone infiltrate an episode or two of "Up All Night," so that I can stop going nuts with all the Apple placement throughout every episode.
  • I'm not sure where all the hate for this ad is coming from, but I'm pretty sure that those of us who read the tech blogs are not the target audience.  Will Arnett is a popular comedic actor and this will draw attention to the product.  I think it does a great job of positioning the device as something that can be helpful all a digital assistant customized to fit you.  It's a consumer use profile and not a laundry list of tech spec and features and I think it will be reach a certain segment of the audience.  That audience will appreciate the humor since it was played during SNL.   I read that they have upcoming ads with Gwen Steffani and Jay-Z.  That combo will likely speak to about 60-70% of the under 40 crowd.
    I'm glad that they are working on PERCEPTION instead of just SPECS because the masses don't care about all of that.   
  • So who exactly is the target audience that this ad is focussing on? Because I don't know very many people who have personal assistants and doubt there are multi millionaires out there who are looking for a smartphone
    There is no way out of this it is a TERRIBLE AD CAMPAIGN
  • That was HORRIBLE!
  • It wasn't THAT bad, i mean what did you expect, a Cloud Atlas trailer??
    It was pretty gay though.
  • Too little about the phone? Come on, it shows the whole personalisation concept. Would you really prefer the "ads" from the olden days that hardly passed as help-videos? If this ad is all about jokes, then Apple has an ad about kids. Still, they sell phones. I do realize that the phone isn't constantly onscreen. But I think AT&T don't really need goldfish to buy their handsets ;).
  • The advert is beyond bad.
    Talk about being out of touch with your target audience and out of tocuh with the times.
    MS needs to attract the hip and cool demographic and these folk shun the ostentatious gawdy falsh of the filthy rich. Add to this the fact that we are in one of the greatest market depressions ever and you have all three strikes.
    What is really sad is that these adverts are going to cost an absolute fortune and deliver almost nothing. In fact it will likely drive buyers away.
    I have said it before and I say it again MS couldn't market a bucket of water to a man on fire!
  • Needs moar Gillette F22 fly-bys. I don't buy anything if the add doesn't have topless dudes and jet fighters in it. I have alot of razors. Come on MS. Man up.