Wow! Verizon really turned up their game this past weekend. Unfortunately, I missed the ALCS game Saturday night (youth football comsumes my Saturdays in the fall), but thanks to the power of the internet and RSS feeds, my reader was full of articles regarding Verizon’s latest ad push. On the heels of its “There’s a map for that” campaign that went directly after the poor quality of the AT&T network, Verizon released the “iDon’t” campaign during Saturday night’s game. While the ad is a bit cryptic, it clearly attacks the iPhone and promotes the Motorola Droid device, the first Android-based handset on the Verizon network.
The website at the end of the video, droiddoes.com, is a teaser site set-up by Verizon that provides a bit more detail, but it is almost as cryptic as the ad. There are no pictures of the device on the site, and the countdown timer is an illegible assortment of symbols. Verizon is trying to build some anticipation around the launch, but it needs to come clean with details – and fast. For example, I saw the ad with the family this evening, and they had no idea what was going on and what the Droid logo at the end meant. If Verizon isn’t careful, they could botch this whole release by being too cute.
That being said, the reviews on the Droid are very positive, and people are announcing that a rival to the iPhone has finally arrived. Boy Genius Report has posted photos and a hands-on review, and TechCrunch has offered its opinion as well. While the hardware is impressive, its biggest advantage is that it’s on the Verizon network instead of the beleaguered AT&T network. Another data-intensive device might have caused the AT&T network to seize up and explode.
Of course, the biggest implication of the new ad campaign is that it stamps out any remaining ray of hope that Verizon would pick-up the iPhone. I would love to know the details of the negotiations between Verizon and Apple. Someone at Apple must have really pissed off Verizon, because this campaign borders on personal. I must say that if the iPhone does end up on Verizon one day, then Apple has a better sense of humor that I could have ever imagined.
Given how Apple likes to directly attack it’s competition’s shortcomings (remember those Mac vs PC ads), I’m happy to see someone take the offensive against the iPhone. I guess all the posturing around the Verizon/Google announcement at CTIA was more than just talk….