Digital Life Film Festival

“The finished product has been a huge hit with our sellers and has changed how they think about sales training.” - Craig Barber, Director of AT&T Digital Life


AT&T’s Digital Life is a Home Security and Automation system that gives customers control and observation of their home from their laptop or mobile device, even if AT&T isn’t their mobile carrier.


 AT&T’s Digital Life division provides a thorough, all day training program for all employees at AT&T owned stores that covers a detailed introduction of the product, packages, how to sell the product, overcoming objections and more.


However, Authorized Retailers and National Sellers don’t have the same staffing as AT&T stores and can’t afford such a significant time investment into training for one product. The group represents a very large number of businesses with approximately 9,100 National Seller locations, such as Costco, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Car Toys, Wal Mart and Target, as well as 3,200 Authorized Retailers. Sales staff in these businesses are typically millennials who must be educated on a range of products.


SMITH was tasked with developing a strategy, and executing it, to that would distill a whole day into an engaging experience that could onboard a sales associate in under an hour.



Engage sellers through edutainment by breaking the course down into snack-sized content, hiding the education in the wrapper of entertainment, and delivering it in a format viewable on a mobile device.

The Work

Digital Life Film Festival became a video series that could be viewed in under an hour in the retailer breakrooms. The lessons were broken into an eclectic range of content styles inspired by pop culture and YouTube channels, such as the 70’s detective trope and Draw My Life.


Presented by a “red carpet” entertainment announcer who, very self-referentially, starred in many of the shorts, the videos take the audience on a journey through Digital Life, from the core features and benefits, discussed by a pair of bumbling, mustachioed detectives, to the cockpit of an alien spaceship.


With tongue firmly in cheek, the home control application receives a thorough walk-through with an intentionally awful green screen session, and viewers gain insight into methods for handling objections via the devil and angel sitting on the shoulders of a prospective buyer.


A key challenge of the sales cycle, the booking of installation and management of expectations as buyers integrate the system into other IoT devices, is managed through a set of diagrams illustrated during the video, taking the sales reps on the customers post-purchase journey.


Filmed in Portland over 5 days with SMITH’s video production partner Rock Tree Worm (RTW), the video series delivers the complexity of IoT Home Automation in a simple, vibrant and humorous package.

The Results

  • An innovative millennial-targeted reseller education program using the principles of online entertainment to deliver 8 hours of knowledge and best practices in a memorable 45 minute anywhere, anytime session.

  • Time is money, especially with staff who are paid hourly. Making the training 1000% shorter has millions in cost savings implications.

  • Originally launched to 9,100 National Seller locations, such as Costco, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Car Toys, Walmart and Target, as well as 3,200 Authorized Retailers, the positive reception from sales staff lead to its deployment internally at AT&T Core Stores with 15,000 sales reps in 2,200 additional locations.

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