Many companies utilize humor in their marketing strategies. And one of the most successful campaigns involved the AT&T girl featured in commercials by AT&T.
The ads starring Milana Vayntrub as the AT&T girl featured her interacting with customers, including various celebrities, families, and awkward people. The ads, lasting only 30 seconds long, injected humor in the dialogue and actions to sell products or AT&T offers.
The AT&T girl you enjoyed so much does not share the name of Lily Adams used by the character in the commercials. Milana Vayntrub, who plays the humorous character, captured the hearts of millions of people thanks to her animated personality.
However, Milana is so much more than her iconic AT&T girl character. In recent years, she managed to make a name for herself in the television and movie industry, with roles including Marvel’s Squirrel Girl.
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This post was updated on March 2021
Who Is Milana Vayntrub?
Born in Uzbekistan on March 8, 1987, Milana Vayntrub is an American comedian and actress whose career took off thanks to her role as the famous AT&T girl. In the commercials, which aired from 2013 to 2016, she played the character of Lily Adams, an AT&T saleswoman.
The Jewish actress moved to West Hollywood with her parents when she was just two years old. As a young child, she participated in Mattel commercials to help her family financially.
Vayntrub’s only known romantic association was with John Mayer when she was just 19, and the singer/songwriter was 28. Vayntrub has admitted that she is not comfortable sharing personal details of her personal life with the public and her fans.
Although she has proven her skills in other genres, her background is strongly geared towards comedy. Her girl-next-door vibe is the perfect complement to the quirky AT&T girl role since she can catch viewers off guard with her hilarious, and often sarcastic, one-liners.
It’s not just Milana’s looks that have caught the attention of her fans. Her conversational and witty manner of speaking and voice quality are also very distinguishing characteristics that have endeared her to fans. Also, one of her best features is her relatability. She seems as if she is someone else you know and could run into when going to the store.
Her role as the AT&T girl became so successful that it was parodied in Inside Amy Schumer. However, Vayntrub thought that the sketch was not done well since it simply made the cellphone saleslady sexy. She said that her Lily Adams character should not be seen as a sexual object, adding that the AT&T girl is a successful, funny, and intelligent store manager.
Although Milana is the center of the brief television ads, the company uses a voice actor to end the commercial and change the tone from something quirky and light to something serious. This method reinforces the brand’s image. Many companies like AT&T use separated onscreen and off-screen talents in their ads. Although this may be hard to pull off, it can deliver a fantastic punch if done right. In AT&T’s case, the voice talent complements Milana’s acting extremely well and creates a wonderful contrast in the advertisements.
Milana’s role as the onscreen comedic star, and the more professional voice at the end of the advertisement, allow the customer to think about the brand’s offer seriously. This method is not the only time A&T utilizes this technique in their commercials. In some of their other campaigns, the company reels back the audience from a light vibe to a more refined concluding message. This way, the balance between humor and professionalism creates a memorable commercial that will stick in people’s minds.
The Career of the AT&T Girl
Although Milana Vayntrub participated in ads as a young girl, starting a YouTube channel helped catapult her career. Her channel, named LivePrudeGirls, currently has 101,000 subscribers and centers on comedy videos. It even has a weekly show widely recognized by the YouTube community as it features many famous people. From 2011 to 2014, she also took part in 15 episodes of College Humor Originals. The videos racked up hundreds of thousands of views. You should check out these videos if you want a glimpse of Milana before she was the AT&T girl.
Vayntrub also has a promising career in movies and television shows. She starred in Other Space and Silicon Valley. When younger, she also appeared in The League, Key and Peele, ER, and many other shows.
One of her most memorable cameos was in a 2002 Lizzie McGuire episode in which she was known as the “cute burper.” Milana jokingly shared that she considers herself a professional disgusting person since she practiced her burps for this role. She also appeared in a Letting Up Despite Great Faults music video entitled “Teenage Tide.”
The Success of the AT&T Girl
However, her most significant role to date is when she beat out huge Hollywood stars to play Squirrel Girl, a Marvel heroine that gathered a cult following. She voiced the character in New Warriors in 2017 and other Marvel Rising installments, which include Chasing Ghosts, Heart of Iron, and Battle of the Bands.
Marvel’s decision to cast Vanytrub initially came as a surprise, as some fans suspected Shannon Purser or Anna Kendrick would be chosen to make the character come to life. The highly sought-after role features five other young adults and superheroes that include Mister Immortal, Microbe, and Night Thrasher.
Another big role she landed was Sloane Sandburg in This Is Us. The provocative show follows the story of a family at various stages of life. It centers on heavy topics such as racial identity, parenting, abortion, marriage, adoption, and even body image. This time, it’s not just her voice that fans will be experiencing. In This Is Us, she plays the playwright of a show. Her brilliant performance as a reserved and quiet character proves that she can take on different roles.
4 Interesting Facts About the AT&T Girl
Here are some things you may not know about the interesting Uzbek actress.
She helps refugees
Vayntrub had a tough childhood in Uzbekistan, where she grew up facing religious oppression because she was Jewish. Her initial status as a refugee in the U.S. came about because her family was looking for a new home that would grant them religious freedom. Milana and her family’s journey to the United States was long and arduous. Stranded in Italy and Austria was part of their journey to the United States.
Fueled by her past, it’s no wonder that Vayntrub wants to help others going through the same things she did. The actress is insistent on changing the world through her Can’t Do Nothing movement. This institution helps crusade for the rights of refugees all over the globe. She founded the cause in 2016 with entrepreneur Eron Zehavi after a trip to help refugees in Greece.
According to their website, their campaign aims to help individuals create a positive impact and help refugees. The organization helps the Boat Refugee Foundation, Off Track Heath, and The Syria Fund to disseminate information about the various issues faced by refugees and help thousands of refugees pursue a better life. According to Vayntrub, she not only wants people to know about the problem faced by refugees globally but also to inform them on how to end these challenges.
The organization encourages people to take a video or a photo with a #CantDoNothing hashtag and post it on their social media pages. The organization encourages people to explain why they take action on relevant issues, and to tag three people to participate.
She did not finish high school
Some of the most charismatic and intelligent stars in Hollywood are college dropouts. Along with Jennifer Lawrence, Jay-Z, and Kate Winslet, Milana managed a successful career even without a high school diploma.
The actress initially attended Beverly Hills High School but dropped out during her sophomore year. But don’t think that she just wanted to get out of the education system. She quit high school simply because she wanted to quicken the completion of this phase of her education. Even without finishing high school, she passed the California High School Proficiency Examination, which got her into the University of California, San Diego, where she earned a communications degree. Perfect for her role as the AT&T girl, right?
Aside from her degree, she also got the privilege to study improv comedy in one of the most successful comedy troupes in the world, the Upright Citizens Brigade or UCB. This institution boasts graduates such as Amy Poehler. There’s no doubt her time at UCB aided her in her role as the AT&T girl.
She was only set to do one AT&T ad
Actors typically approach commercials as a one-time role. And that’s exactly what Vayntrub had in mind when she booked the role of the AT&T girl. But fate had other plans. The audience response for the ad was so strong that she managed to shoot over 40 spots as the AT&T girl. The company just kept hiring her because the ads were doing so well.
She loves to direct
Milana has had a successful career on screen, but she’s not stopping there. She started to direct comical commercials, including the Cracker Barrel restaurant’s macaroni and cheese commercial.
The Inimitable Charisma of AT&T Girl
The major appeal of Milana’s ads is not only her awkward, cute, and charming vibe. When people watch her ads, they feel as if they are actually getting to know her as a person. While millions of people may simply know her as the AT&T girl, she transcended this iconic role. With fans worldwide supporting both her career and advocacy, the sky is the limit for Milana Vayntrub, a.k.a. the AT&T girl.
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