Can you figure out why I love this commercial?
If you guessed it’s because I love candy bars and making fun of iPhone apps, you win.
And so does this commercial. Indeed, it won a video contest to get on the air. I’m into these commercial contests. There’s a lot of lowest-common-denominator stagnation in the advertising world, and it’s refreshing to see some creative average joes getting a shot before they’ve been co-opted by the media machine and brainwashed to deliver formulaic tripe. For another quality product of open mic marketing, peep this freaking gem from the Super Bowl:
Ah, commercialism in the digital age — there’s a sucker updated every minute.
Last month Wired started a new blog, Wired Reread, wherein they look back at ads and articles in old issues. Some, like the beauty above, are pure gold. Ah, MiniDisc. I remember my friend’s older brother had a MiniDisc player. I thought he was so hip to the new technologies.
And there’s the AT&T ad from March of 1995, which includes this prescient copy:
In the future no matter where you are, the nearest phone will be close at hand. Miniature. Wireless. Small enough to wear on your wrist. Yet powerful enough to reach anyone. Anywhere in the world. The strap-on telephone. The company that will bring it to you is AT&T.
Got most of that right. I’m a little uncomfortable with the “strap-on” part, though.
And will we ever be able to thank Motorola enough for loosing us from the shackles of fax stacks? Imagine, you would be swimming in those half-glossy curled sheets right now. The horror.
I received this comment yesterday from a devoted reader:
Wouldn’t want to disappoint, Eddie, and indeed I’m pleased to take a moment for this ad.
Bloated is right. And I’ll tell you what really grosses me out about this commercial: seeing Clapton-of-today’s puffy mane-framed face while hearing his voice say “I get off on.” Ew. There’s really an age at which one shouldn’t be allowed to say stuff like “get off” anymore. Whatever it is, he’s past it. As a consumer, I wouldn’t want to think of Eric Clapton getting off every time I get a call from a fading Blues musician. Doesn’t help none that the phone is called MyTouch. [shudder]
And while we’re on the subject of mobile endorsements by once-desirable celebrities succumbed to severe edema…
So where did all those minutes go, dough boy? Are they lost forever, along with all those offers for projects that aren’t humiliating? To wit:
“This… this is just not right.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Luke.
Last week AT&T wireless head Ralph de la Vega revealed that dropped calls and spotty service on AT&T’s 3G network isn’t really the company’s fault: It’s yours. For using your phone in the first place.
Betraying a sinister Obamarxist agenda, de la Vega told the Telegraph that 3% of users account for 40% of the network’s data capacity, and that the only way to relieve the crunch is to dissuade the bandwidth bourgeoisie from using their phones so much:
We’re going to try to focus on making sure we give incentives to those small percentages to either reduce or modify their usage so they don’t crowd out the other customers in those same cell sites….What’s driving usage on the network and driving these high usage situations are things like video, or audio that keeps playing around the clock. And so we’ve got to get to those customers and have them recognise that they need to change their pattern, or there will be other things that they are going to have to do to reduce their usage.
Hear that, paying customers? Quit using all those apps the iPhone is specifically designed to provide you. (Ahem, please continue buying them, just don’t, you know, like use them.) Or else.
Or else what? Well, or else you’ll probably have to pay more — in a structured data plan, say — for service that will inevitably stay the same, or get worse. Or you can switch to Verizon, should they ink a deal to sell iPhones when AT&T’s exclusivity agreement ends. Then you can wait until the current self-proclaimed leader in 3G service nationwide finds itself overwhelmed with app-happy screen-touchers and turns the finger back on you.
Verizon did a bang up job with its There’s a Map for That commercials, lambasting AT&T’s shitty nationwide 3G coverage. So the latter, naturally, sued to get the ads off the air, on the grounds that they mislead the viewer into thinking that if you’re not in a 3G zone you can’t get any service at all. Nice try, but no cigar. Engadget this week commented on Verizon legal’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo rejoinder:
Sure, Verizon’s doubled down on the 3G map ads in response to AT&T’s false advertising lawsuit, but eventually the company’s lawyers had to file a response and, well, ain’t nobody backing down in this one. Here’s the freaking introduction:
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.
Yeah. It’s gonna be like that. Verizon goes on to argue that even AT&T concedes the maps are accurate, and that pulling any of the ads off the air without proof that they’re misleading consumers would be unfair, and that at the very least both parties need time to investigate further. Honestly? We’ve read it over a couple times now and while the legal arguments are certainly interesting, it’s hard not to get the impression that Verizon drafted this response with publication in mind — check out this quote:
In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon’s side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T’s confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly.
See what we mean?
Booya. Pretty entertaining stuff. Maybe they should put their lawyers on their next ad campaign. Of course, their money might be better spent making phones that can utilize Verizon’s extensive 3G coverage, without sucking. Cue the Droid.