Verizon vs. AT&T – Who’s Got the Best Ad?

February 20, 2011

Apple is commonly referred to as the greatest vertically integrated company in the marketplace, and for good reason. They’re both respected and disdained, adored and despised, praised and condemned for the way they control every aspect of the user experience.

Want a computer with Mac OS X? Then you’re gonna have to buy Apple hardware, and if you want software, you’ll most likely use their Mac App Store platform to get what you want (through which Apple takes a 30% cut). If the software is too advanced for the Mac App Store, namely professional creative applications like video editing or music recording you’ll most likely buy the industry standards… in this case, Apple’s Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio.

Want to listen to music on the go? Then you’ll buy an iPod, Apple’s market-dominating product. When you want to actually listen to music, you’ll have to connect your computer to either a Mac or a PC (guess which platform Apple makes sure is a faster, less-bloated experience than the other), and Apple’s iTunes is the necessary portal for syncing content. Speaking of which, Apple completely controls all the content in iTunes, and in order to purchase music through the incredibly easy-to-use iTunes music store, you’ll need to create an Apple ID and enter your credit card information (scary fact — a year ago Apple reported having over 150 million credit cards hooked up to their iTunes store). Oh, and until just recently, any music purchased in the iTunes Store could only be played on Apple devices. So if you bought an iPod and downloaded 300 songs and then realized two years later you wanted a Zune, you’d have to re-purchase all your music in order for it to work

But a glitch arises in Apple’s iPhone. Yes, if you want to use iOS you’ll have to purchase Apple’s hardware to use it. But in order to actually make calls… a network is required. And Apple doesn’t have a network.

Initially, Apple tried to fake vertical integration by siding with one carrier, AT&T. AT&T became synonymous to the iPhone, to the point where it was almost as though it was part of the product, and therefore part of the company. But unfortunately for Apple… AT&T sucked. Bad call quality became synonymous with Apple’s tightly controlled brand image, and Apple didn’t want to be the butt of the joke any longer. So two weeks after the exclusivity agreement expired, Apple brought the iPhone to Verizon. Hooray! No more being ridiculed in the public!

But now a new problem arises. Before, AT&T wasn’t allowed to advertise the iPhone. That was Apple’s job for a reason… they’re the best at it. But now that there are two carrier options available, it seems as part of the agreement both are allowed to advertise the iPhone. This is a first in the world of Apple advertisement… the same product being marketed by three different companies. But more importantly, since AT&T and Verizon are at war, they’re both concerned with pointing out the flaws in the other. So for the first time, the flaws of an Apple product are being publicly proclaimed and promoted by an Apple-affiliated company.

Verizon’s exudes smugness with their ever ubiquitous “Can you hear me now” guy making a comeback. The point of the commercial? Until now, the iPhone has been unusable as a phone. And unless you choose Verizon, you’ll still be unable to make and hold phone calls.

AT&T takes a different approach by presenting a real world scenario. In short, they promote how you can use the iPhone to surf the web and talk at the same time. Useful, smart, intelligent. Even genius. But on Verizon’s network you won’t get that. On Verizon, you’re stuck with a not-so-smart smartphone. And unless you choose AT&T, the experience won’t be of the top quality.

The war is clear — AT&T is emphasizing the “i”, Verizon is emphasizing the “Phone.” AT&T’s network will deliver the best data experience… it’s faster, stronger, and more limber. Verizon’s network will deliver the best calling experience… calls are clearer, and won’t drop after minutes of use. It will be fascinating to see the two continue to publicly ridicule the other, and how Apple’s advertisements will handle the conflict in their world of vertical integration.

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One Response to “Verizon vs. AT&T – Who’s Got the Best Ad?”

  1. digital dream said

    boy…this site really died…..

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