Lily From AT&T Is More Involved With The Commercials Than You Think
After a three-year break from her popular role, Milana Vayntrub is back to portraying your favorite cellular service company employee. But she’s not just a plucky actor; Lily from AT&T is more involved in the commercials than you might think. Her backstory and role in creating those iconic AT&T commercials make her all the more inspirational. Vayntrub’s path to stardom has not been without its challenges and she is using her voice to highlight important issues like sexual harassment.
In her most recent slate of commercials, Lily is working from home and helping customers navigate the world of 5G and iPhones through video chat. But along with starring in the commercials and bringing humor into the mundane nature of cellphone plans, Vayntrub is actively involved in their creation. What viewers may not know is that the real-life actor behind Lily is also a commercial director now, according to production company Hungry Man. She filmed the new commercials in her own home, with the help of her boyfriend.
AT&T's Lily returns to your TV
The decision to bring Lily back to AT&T commercials after her departure in 2017 was something the AT&T team was very excited about. “Throughout the years we had seen a steady stream of social media comments about bringing Lily back, so we’re excited that we found the right time to finally do it,” said Marc Burns, AT&T vice president of advertising and social media. “She was always very loved in the original slate of ads, and we hope that love and familiarity will resonate with the mass audience we’re targeting. Bringing Lily back makes sense in this moment for so many reasons,” Burns said. “She captures so many of the wonderful characteristics and spirit of our AT&T employees. She’ll continue to shine a light on the work they do every day,” he added (via Muse).
Milana Vayntrub filmed and directed the new commercials using remote-controlled cameras. She had guidance from the Hungry Man crew and regularly checked in with them through video chat and video-editing programs. Her move to being more hands-on in the process is not surprising, especially when you consider the ways in which it puts her in control of her own body. You may have noticed that Lily is sitting or slightly obscured in her more recent commercials and that was an intentional move.
Lily won't be showing her full body in her commercials
Back in March, Milana Vayntrub tweeted about her placement in the ads. “Been getting a lot of ‘Why are they placing her body like that in those ads?’ Well, I direct the ads. I place myself like that. And it’s because of the thousands of unwelcome comments I receive about my body. You’ve lost the privilege of looking at it until I feel safe again,” she wrote.
Those comments are wholly unwelcome and the Vayntrub stated that she will not stand for them. “Maybe it just has to do with being a person on the internet, or maybe it’s specific to being a woman on the internet,” she said. “But all of these comments … it hurts my feelings. I’m hurting and it’s bringing up, like, a lot of feelings of sexual assault. I am just like, you know, walking my dog and getting messages from people who have distorted my pictures to get likes on their accounts” (via Uproxx).
AT&T has vocally supported her stance on the comments, even releasing a statement about the issue. “We have disabled or deleted these comments on our social content that includes Lily, and we will continue to fight to support her and our values, which appreciate and respect all women” (via PR Week).
By filming her own commercials and setting boundaries, Vayntrub puts herself in quite the powerful position. Cheers to that!
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