Author Laura Ries provides a post with her perspective on the current Verizon-AT&T battle at her Ries’ Pieces blog, “Verizon and its Atomic Bomb” (January 27, 2010). We have blogged about this battle before on Teach the 4 P’s. Laura is the daughter of Al Ries (whose now almost 30-year old book, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind with Jack Trout is still full of great thinking). Laura is no slouch either, a frequent commentator on television news she has co-authored several books with her father and runs a consulting firm.
Verizon continues to run ads that promote its superior 3G network. The 3G network allows simultaneous speech and data transmission at higher speeds — it is what you need to surf the web from your phone. We have reported on this subject in a previous blog post (the previous post now includes links to articles on the subsequent legal battle).
This is a great example of a marketer identifying a competitor’s weakness (AT&T’s 3G network has significantly less coverage than Verizon and is a source of complaints of many iPhone customers). Of course part of the goal is to distract customers from Verizon’s own weakness — Verizon doesn’t carry the most popular smart (surf the web) phone the Apple iPhone (although its recently Droid has received some positive reviews following its recent release. The ad below is Verizon’s latest salvo in the battle.
UPDATE 11-22: AT&T responds to Verizon. How well do you think it works? Who is winning this battle? And should AT&T be replying to Verizon?
“Verizon ad – There’s a Map for That – HD version,” (0:31) YouTube.com. Most of our students have cell phones – and this is a market they tune into. Of course Apple has its “There’s an App for that” campaign to promote the applications available for iPhone users. AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, has been criticized of late for its poor network – which happens to be one of Verizon’s strengths. This ad provides a current example of competitive advertising.
UPDATE (11-3-09) – AT&T sues Verizon for the ad.
UPDATE (11-19) — Maybe that lawsuit was not such a good idea. “AT&T’s Verizon Lawsuit Gives ‘Map for That’ Ad New Life,” AdAge.com, November 19, 2009
UPDATE (11-19) — “AT&T Loses First Legal Battle,” at Slashdot.com