AT&T Wireless' Mlife Ad Boosts Site Traffic; Settles Trademark Lawsuit With MetLife

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According to Jupiter Media Metrix, AT&T Wireless's mlife.com Web site got a substantial boost in traffic thanks to the Super Bowl and the company's television spot.


The research firm said mlife.com pulled in 34,000 unique visitors on Saturday, Feb. 2. Visits jumped to 681,000 on Super Bowl Sunday. The Web site of other companies with ads running during the game, such as Hotjobs.com, Monster.com and Schwab.com, traffic remained level or even fell.


"While most of the year's Super Bowl ads represented familiar brands that will likely enjoy longer-term results, mlife's immediate online success was likely driven by the novelty of the television campaign as well as the brand itself," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research at Jupiter Media Metrix.


AT&T Wireless Services and MetLife have settled MetLife's charge that AT&T Wireless's mlife campaign infringed the insurer's trademark, AT&T said last week.


The dispute arose when MetLife filed a lawsuit in January against AT&T Wireless to prevent the company from continuing its mlife advertising campaign to market its cellular telephone services. Cryptic television and print ads had been running since January touting mlife, though the ads never explained what mlife is. AT&T Wireless cleared up the mystery about mlife in the television ads that ran during the Super Bowl.


MetLife contended that AT&T Wireless's campaign was "confusingly similar" to the insurer's "Have you met life today?" campaign. It also noted that AT&T Wireless's print and television ads promoting "mlife" have a similar look and theme to MetLife's campaign.


"MetLife's ads address issues such as enhancing life significance in an emotional way as do the current 'mlife' ads," the insurer said in a statement. "In addition, AT&T Wireless is using 'mlife' in lower case, which also duplicates the 'have you met life today?' ads."


MetLife initially sought to have AT&T Wireless permanently barred from running the mlife television spots. However, after negotiations by the two companies, AT&T Wireless was allowed to air its 60-second television commercial during the Super Bowl. MetLife withdrew its temporary restraining order against AT&T Wireless in exchange for AT&T Wireless withdrawing its trademark application for "mlife." Both companies plan to continue discussions regarding the trademark issue.


AT&T Wireless set up mlife.com to promote its services.


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