It’s been a while since most of us have done any casual shopping, so is it weird to say we miss casual chats with strangers? Because we miss causal chats with strangers. And we even miss customer service interactions — the good ones, anyway. Which is perhaps one of the reasons folks are so stoked that “AT&T Girl” Lily Adams, played by Uzbekistan-born actress Milana Vayntrub, is back on the air. (And on our phones, and in our feeds, etc. etc.) Here’s a look back at some of her best commercials.
Gordon Ramsay meets Lily
Part of the charm of Lily Adams is her clear, simple approach to telling customers about AT&T’s latest deals. She’s the calm, knowledgeable guide we all wish we had when navigating something confusing (and possibly expensive) like a phone plan. So it’s no surprise that when Gordon Ramsay made an appearance on one of Lily’s commercials, he was pleasantly surprised by such a straightforward interaction.
After Lily tells Ramsay about the plan that will fit his needs he says, “So I’m getting exactly I want, then?” and then admits, “Now, uh, I’m not too sure what to do with my arms right now, ’cause this is where I usually start throwing things.” Lily responds with the forced smile known to many a customer service worker, and a sweet sounding, “That’s terrifying” (via YouTube).
New iPhones mean busy days for Lily
The release of a new iPhone is always going to cause some excitement, but it’s an especially busy day for folks who work at Apple and AT&T. With the release of the iPhone 6 in 2014, the AT&T ad titled “Big Day” featured Lily underplaying just how busy her day is with the new release. The phones are ringing non-stop, she’s holding someone’s dog while they shop, then a fussy toddler, dodging kids running through the store, and fielding question after question. But she does it all with a smile on her face, and we can only hope she gets a relaxing evening of takeout and binge-watching her favorite show when it’s all over (via YouTube).
AT&T Girl Lily gets a Christmas makeover
In 2016, AT&T did a series of commercials featuring Santa, Rudolph, and the Abominable Snowmonster of the North from the 1964 stop-motion animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Lily shares her Christmas list with Santa, (she wants a new bike, and a helmet to go with it), gets Rudolph set up to play his phone games, and can converse with Bumble in both English and, presumably, Monsterese. We especially loved seeing her get a stop-motion makeover for the series so she fit right in (via YouTube).
Lily's awkward (bedazzled) side
It’s not just that we get to see Lily navigate a (very mild) parody of what customer service workers have to deal with every day — she encounters customers who shop by their horoscope, need her to whisper to avoid waking a baby, and who have to knock on wood if she uses the word “win” to avoid jinxing his favorite sports team — but we also get to see small hints of her personality.
In the 2018 “Hand Me Down” commercial, we see Lily making conversation with a family who’s older daughter seems to get the best of everything while her little sister gets the hand-me-downs. When Lily tries to admire the younger girl’s bedazzled sweatshirt, saying that she bedazzles too, the tween replies with a withering glance and an incredulous, “You admit that?!?” As the chagrined Lily turns to go get the phones, we see the back of her shirt has been bedazzled with the AT&T logo (via YouTube).
AT&T Girl is back(!) and working from home
In one of the more recent Lily returns ads (she was off the air in 2019), we see that she is, like many, now working from home. (Her apartment looks great, by the way, so either she lives in a low cost-of-living area, or AT&T pays AT&T Girl very well, but we digress.) In any case, Lily suggests that for those who are lonely through the pandemic, putting googly eyes on household objects can help ease the isolation. She shows the audience a picture of “Hiraldo” a ukulele with large googly eyes and calls him “her best friend” before quickly apologizing to “Nancy,” her similarly wide-eyed coffee cup. Lily’s fans are thrilled she’s back, and surely hoping that she doesn’t get too stir crazy as her job changes (via YouTube).
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