Who is the AT&T Commercial Girl?

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Ever wonder who’s the quirky actress behind the AT&T commercial girl?

It’s Milana Vayntrub.

Milana Vayntrub Bio

The actress, who goes by ‘Lily Adams’ in the telecommunications company’s popular commercials, was born in Uzbekistan and immigrated to West Hollywood with her parents when she was two and a half years old.

Milana started acting in Barbie commercials when she was just five years old.

She studied improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City and starred in multiple CollegeHumor videos.

You may recognize Milana from her appearances as Sloane Sandburg in the popular NBC show ‘This Is Us,’ where she was in eight episodes.

Watch some of her funniest AT&T commercials here:

She has also done voice over work for a few Marvel cartoons and some other online animated shows.

Milana is the voice of Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl in Marvel’s ‘New Warriors,’ a new ABC Signature Studios and Marvel Television series.

The actress is involved in giving back as well.

In 2016, she co-founded a website and social media movement called ‘#CantDoNothing’ to highlight the European migrant crisis. She was fueled by her visit to Greece in January 2016, where she met refugee families escaping the Syrian Civil War.

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Milana Vayntrub Acting Style

With her strong improv comedy background, Milana is able to bring a witty, girl-next-door style to her role as Lily Adams in the AT&T commercials. She’s able to toe-the-line between quirky and informative, but also deliver a fast one-liner that can catch the viewer off-guard.

Milana Vayntrub Vocal Qualities

In her role as Lily Adams, Milana has conversational, cute, genuine and witty vocal qualities.

Milana’s vocal qualities reflect the characteristics of someone you would most likely encounter if you went into an AT&T store in-person. She’s someone who’s younger than the people she’s selling the phone plans to, often talking to customers in their 30s, 40s and 50s in the commercials.

The tone of the AT&T commercials is very peer-to-peer and conversational. The ads all take place in one of their regular storefronts with a different mix of customers, from celebrities to various family types. AT&T uses calming, bright colors in a store with a steady amount of customers, always using humor to anchor the spot.

While Milana is the ideal voice to sell the product, AT&T brings in an older male voice for the voice over to end the spot. The male voice carries a much more mature, authoritative and masculine tone to cement the brand and balance the ad.

How to Balance Onscreen and Offscreen Actors to Enhance an Ad

The ability to balance an onscreen actor’s voice and personality with an offscreen voice actor in an advertisement can be an art form, but when done right, the one-two punch delivers a great value proposition and cementation of the brand to help with brand recall.

However, when done incorrectly, the onscreen and offscreen actors don’t complement each other and the tone of the ad, or worse, they compete for the customer’s attention and take away from ad recall.

AT&T commercials do a great job of introducing a comedic onscreen hero, followed by a more professional and refined ‘brand voice’ that solidifies their value propositions. They typically show large, moving text addressing their network’s speed and reach, capped with their tagline.

Whether it’s Milana’s ‘Lily Adams,’ Mark Wahlberg or Tim Baltz in their hilarious March Madness commercials, the onscreen antics are always reeled back in by that slightly more refined but still conversational male or female brand voice.

Watch comedian Tim Baltz and the hilarious AT&T March Madness commercials:

Another company that does a tremendous job with balancing their onscreen actor’s tone with their offscreen voice actor is Allstate Insurance. The insurance company has two active ad campaigns with two separate and very different main characters.   

Dennis Haysbert’s deep and booming voice leads their more dramatic and reflective commercials. While Dean Winters plays ‘Mayhem,’ a character who always highlights the worst case scenario for your home, car and life. Allstate’s ‘Mayhem’ commercials are a lot more comedic in tone and make light of potential looming accidents.

Watch Dennis Haybert’s Allstate commercial:

Watch Dean Winters’ Allstate ‘Mayhem’ commercial:

Allstate makes sure any ‘Mayhem’ commercial with Winters, always ends with an offscreen voice over by Haybert to solidify the company’s safe and secure brand image, which positively impacts overall brand recall.

AT&T Commercial Summary

AT&T and Allstate both do a phenomenal job of using on and off screen actors to drive home their messaging. They both show us how important that perfect balance of onscreen humor and offscreen brand cementation is to creating memorable ads, as well as the incredible power of voice over in commercials.

So, what is your favorite Milana Vayntrub AT&T commercial? What’s another company that balances their onscreen and offscreen actors well? Let us know in the comment section below.

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