If you’re a boxing fan you witnessed last week probably the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world moving up a weight class and taking apart his opponent in a brilliantly fought match. If you’re a marketing fan, you saw one telecommunications company dismantle the reputation of another in a brilliantly aggressive advertising campaign.
Manny Pacquio showed how a skilled practicioner can utlize his better speed, agility, accuracy, power, and timing in a boxing war. Verizon showed how a skilled practicioner can utlize its better speed, agility, accuracy, power, and timing in a marketing war. Manny let Miguel Cotto show what he had to offer in the first round (principally his power), determined Cotto’s weak points, and then picked him apart for the rest of the evening. Verizon let AT&T show what it had to offer these last couple of years (principally the iPhone), and then picked AT&T apart these last couple of weeks with its “There’s A Map For That” ad. (If you haven’t been paying attention to the Verizon/AT&T battle, here’s a synopsis.)
Once Pacquio started his attack, nothing Cotto did worked. Whatever Cotto tried, Pacquio responded better. Pacquio was relentless, knocking Cotto down twice before TKO’ing him in the 12th.
Similarly, AT&T tried sidestepping Verizon’s attack ads. Then they tried to move the fight out of the advertising arena into the court. And they similarly tried to respond with an open letter to their customers. Verizon reponded in court with a brief that opened with:
AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s “There’s A Map For That” advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.
And Verizon continues to respond with their new ad putting the iPhone on the “Island of Misfit Toys”.
So, what has been the result thus far? Daily tracking from YouGov’s BrandIndex shows that Verizon Wireless’ scores have soared while AT&T’s have plummeted. The press and buzz throughout the internet solidly favor Verizon. And sales? We’ll have to see. Is AT&T down for the count or will it get saved by the bell?
Domus is a full-service marketing consulting agency (and boxing fan) based in Philadelphia. We love a good rumble, especially when the marketers take off the heavy gloves. For more about us, please visit our web site at http://www.domusinc.com.