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From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

Wheel of Whoa by AT&T

Winner in Short Form Video

Finalist in Instagram Video

Entered in Facebook Video


Americans using slow internet services spend an outrageous number of hours waiting for their content to load every single year. And with download speeds as high as 940mbps1 and 15x faster upload speeds than Comcast and Spectrum2, AT&T Fiber wants to change that. But with very little product awareness, we were given a small media buy, a tiny budget, and the very big task of proving that AT&T Fiber provides the fastest and most reliable internet connection. So to communicate all of that, we decided to turn the literal representation of a bad connection (the loading wheel) into a media opportunity and connect with consumers exactly where they experience their greatest online annoyance.


Limited availability. May not be available in your area. Go to to see if you qualify. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary based on a number of factors and are not guaranteed.  Download speeds are typically up to 940Mbps due to overhead capacity reserved to deliver the data.  For more information, go to


Comparison of Internet 300 wired upload connection speed to Xfinity 250M service with 20Mbps upload and Spectrum 400Mbps service with 20Mbps upload. Actual speeds may vary. For more information, go to:

Strategy and Execution

The Strategy

When it comes to our internet lives, there is nothing we fear more than being hit with the loading wheel. It ruins nights when we’re trying to watch both seasons of Killing Eve in one sitting. It kills the vibe when we’re on a “you need to see this!” YouTube tear with friends. It silences the crowd when the beat’s about to drop and we’re suddenly met by the deafeningly awkward sound of BUFFERING… BUFFERING… BUFFERING… So we decided to leverage people’s fear and assumption that a buffering symbol always means bad news and bring life to the loading wheel.

The Creative Idea

Partnering with artist Pablo Rochat, we turned the most annoying part of the internet into entertainment. We created our own graphic that posed as a loading wheel and tricked people into thinking they were waiting for their content to load – when in reality, right when they thought they were stuck in a loading-wheel-holding-pattern and least expected it, we created beautifully clever animations out of their loading wheel to prove that when you have AT&T Fiber, everything is Fiber Fast.

The Execution 

Open on a loading wheel (like a you-think-your-content-is-actually-loading loading wheel). It loads… and loads… and loads… and loads… every millisecond a tiny bit of the incomplete circle keeps filling in. And then suddenly, right when your blood starts to boil, the loading wheel does the unexpected and ANIMATES: filling in an angry emoji face with #$?!@ written across its mouth; a worm slowly inching across your screen; a snail gliding along; a watch ticking away; etc. Each execution illustrates how AT&T solves the most common and frustrating internet problem with its reliability and speed.


It turns out people actually like loading wheels when they're not actually loading wheels. Wheel Of Whoa has proven to be highly engaging and motivating for consumers, driving a 120% higher click-through-rate than baseline and delivering a 4x higher Fiber sales conversion than baseline in retargeting (Wheel of Woah has a sales conversion of 20% compared to 5%.)


Video for Wheel of Whoa by AT&T

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Critical Mass, AT&T


Entry Credits