Lily from AT&T Transcends, Redefines Native Advertising


As you watch the Final Four tonight, you will see a bunch of Lily from AT&T native advertising/sponsored content segments. This will supplement all the Lily from AT&T traditional style commercials we’ll see over the course of the broadcast of the two games.

This has been the case all March Madness long. And Lily just doesn’t dominate the airwaves, because when you go online, you’ll find she’s the co-Queen on sponsored content “articles.” For the record the other Co-Queen is golfer-turned-professional Instagrammer Paige Spiranac (pictured below).

These seem to be the rules- every third or fourth native advertising link, at least on sports news websites, has to be about either Paige Spiranac or Lily from AT&T. As we’ve already done our Paige piece, it’s time to give Lily, in her real life Milana Vayntrub (pronounced Milan-uh, Vain-trooyb), her due.

Full disclosure, as an AT&T shareholder, I’m good on the extra brand awareness! Do your thing Milana.

Besides, her spots are way better than the other ads we’ve seen incessantly this NCAA Tournament like: the very annoying spot with the guy rocking out in his convertible to that really stupid, horribly awful “you got the looks, I got the brains, let’s make lots of money” song.

That dude is probably not the person who was listening to Pet Shop Boys in the 1980s anyway.

Or the dumb ad with the woman dropping her phone to a scatting soundtrack. (This one was okay the first couple times, but my gawd has it gotten worse the more it gets overplayed)

Or the beyond stupid commercial with that horribly autotuned, complete garbage song “bag alert, major baaaaaaaag alert.”

And as it’s sports, that means we have to have at least 20 Wendy’s and/or 50 insurance ads during each and every game.

As for Lily from AT&T, the “special contributor” as Greg Gumbel always throws to her, the real life woman behind the character is a 34-year-old American actress born in Uzbekistan.

The daughter of Jewish refugees, she began her career as a child actress shortly after immigrating to the United States.

Her TV credits include: This is Us, Days of Our Lives, ER, Key & Peele, Silcon Valley, Robot Chicken, The League and Lizzie Maguire.

Her Wikipedia profile lists her film credits, which include the Ghostbusters reboot, and Mother’s Little Helpers.

Also worth noting, Lily’s last name is Adams. Which is interesting, did we ever learn what Flo’s last name is?

By Flo, I mean the pitchwoman from Progressive Insurance.

And no, no we never learned what her last name is, but we do know that she is portrayed by 51-year-old actress/comedian Stephanie Courtney.

Anyway, Lily from AT&T made it into our Final Four, National title drinking game/Bingo card, which you can view here, not once, but twice.

Enjoy the game, Go Zags and #UnitedWeZag, so I can win my pool, for the first time in my life.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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