Maybe you heard, Verizon finally has the iPhone. Or it will, in a few weeks. And you know what that means: it’s time to advertise the hell out of that bad boy. But don’t be surprised if it’s Verizon doing more of the pushing than Apple.
Reports today have Verizon putting their significant “marketing muscle” behind the device in the coming weeks. This should be no surprise given what they’ve done for the iPad — a device which doesn’t really even directly connect to their network (though that will change). It’s also in line with what we’ve been hearing for month: that Verizon was getting ready for a huge push in Q1 around some new mobile product. The assumption has long been that this would be the iPhone.
And then there’s what Verizon did for Motorola’s Droid products. Thanks largely to a massive multi-million dollar ad push, Verizon was able to make the Droid the flagship Android device — and that’s despite Google releasing their own Nexus models. And interestingly enough, many of the “Droid Does” commercials took indirect shots at Apple and the iPhone. So these new Verizon ads for the iPhone could seem a little awkward at first.
One question will be if Verizon starts putting more marketing dollars behind iPhone ads then Droid ads? It would seem that wouldn’t be in Verizon’s best interest since the Android platform still gives them much more power over their destiny as a money-grabbing carrier. The iPhone, on the other hand, seems determined to turn Verizon into another dumb pipe, like it more or less has done with AT&T.
You’ll notice that in Apple’s current iPhone ads, AT&T is usually only mentioned at the very end with their logo appearing. Sometimes they tout functionality that Verizon can’t match, like talk & surf, but they don’t credit AT&T with that (and even that functionality gap may close soon). It seems likely that any Verizon iPhone ads that Apple does will be largely the same. The focus will be on the iPhone, not Verizon. After all, just as with the logistics of the press conference itself, Apple can’t afford to piss off AT&T, which is still a valuable iPhone partner.
It will be interesting to see if Verizon though directly takes on the AT&T iPhone. You can just imagine them mocking the AT&T iPhone’s inability to make a call. But I can’t imagine Apple being okay with such a plan for the same reason as above. They don’t care who sells more iPhones, as long as it sells. Instead, maybe Verizon would just tout their great coverage and service record in such ads without mentioning AT&T.
AT&T too has long taken shots at Verizon with their ads. Will they also play nice with new iPhone ones? Again, probably. Apple is in the driver’s seat here. If the children are bickering, they’ll shut them up.
But I think it’s safe to say that the “Droid Does” ads as they’ve been currently constructed are over. In other words, “Droid Did”.