Wednesday, June 29

I Changed to Sprint

I don't typically like when brands get super competitive and trash their main competitors in their marketing. There's certainly a time and a place to compare product features and benefits, but in the main forms of marketing communications I generally prefer when a brands talks about itself or its customers rather than its competition.

It's hard to build a brand when you're talking about another one. I'd rather hear Coke talk about Coke, for example, rather than about Pepsi.

But I do get a chuckle every once in awhile when a brand takes a hyper-competitive stance that's really clever.

Like the recent campaign from Sprint.

Sprint has cleverly hired the former Verizon "character" from the infamous "Can you hear me now?" campaign. This particular character and that iconic line was all over the place when Verizon was first establishing its leadership as the biggest network. He was on television, in print, on the internet, all throughout collateral materials, and in retail. And the iconic tagline went deep into pop culture. SNL even.

And now Sprint, in a very bold move, as taken him on to prove the point that all the networks are basically the same now. They all have about the same reach and coverage, within 1% or so he says. When you go onto the Sprint website, while this character is no where near as dominant, there certainly is a big incentive to make that switch...a free iPhone.


And now he's also in store, in Sprint stores, telling shoppers "why pay double the cost for 1%." Clever.

It'll be interesting to see if Verizon responds, because generally these kinds of competitive attacks only last as long as the competitor is quiet or until the competitor tries to one-up the messaging.

We shall see. It's just bad as the cola wars.

What's your experience?  JIM

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