Friday, December 25, 2009

There's a bunch of crap for that

I cannot stand commercials that simply refuse to make a lick of goddamn sense.

This means nothing. This is nothing. Why do the reindeer need "maps"? The maps are supposed to show Verizon's 3G coverage in the United States. (Santa Claus, if real, is not located in the United States.) The reindeer somehow need 3G coverage? And it somehow matters that all eight (nine?) of them have Verizon's network? Good luck getting a reindeer to work a phone, by the way. Shouldn't Santa just have a phone? The reindeer are all pulling the same sleigh - even if their 3G coverage was in any way relevant, I'm pretty sure seven out of eight would be sufficient.

Hey, here's a thought. Maybe instead of completely wasting the first ten seconds of the commercial on nothing at all, you could have spent some of that time doing anything to explain why Blitzen's "map" is a problem, other than having the smarmy-ass reindeer next to him just go "Uh, your map?" No, you'll stick with that? Okay.

The jabs in this war between AT&T and Verizon are really getting increasingly ridiculous. See, for particular example, this AT&T ad:

"Hey, you see this thing that has no connection to reality whatsoever? AT&T totally does it faster than Verizon!" Most of the AT&T commercials in response to Verizon's "there's a map for that" ads have really been oddly evasive (presumably out of necessity). Verizon's talking about our coverage? Better talk about download speeds! But be sure to make it really opaque by not giving any real examples and instead discussing how long it would take to download a complete human being. What? Or how about this one:

Really, you have to love the way both of them are pretending that the other's network is a total piece of shit when, if we take all the claims in these ads at more or less face value, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for each to be preferred by certain people. If you live somewhere where both have coverage, maybe you'd prefer AT&T and its better download speeds. But if you live in one of the many, many places that apparently don't get AT&T, maybe you'd prefer Verizon. Over nothing.

Ultimately, though, I think Verizon comes out on top, mostly because AT&T's biggest initial response was a classic example of selective omission:

You notice what he's not saying in there, of course - 3G. Verizon's ads talk about how their 3G coverage is better, so AT&T responds by saying, "Verizon's talking about coverage. Well, here's who AT&T covers!" Not who AT&T covers with 3G... just people who can use AT&T wireless phone service at all. Yeah, that's not deceptive. You'll notice that they don't mention the 97% of Americans thing in any of their ads talking about 3G speed and such. Also, in this ad they only mention ten cities, most of which are very large. Wow, you have coverage in major US cities, AT&T? No way! (Not the first time AT&T has felt it necessary to brag about having coverage in large American cities as though that were uncommon, it should be noted.)

For being somewhat less deceptive and not using a Luke Wilson in full smug as their spokesman, I give this round to Verizon. On the other hand, if this ad means that we've finally gotten rid of that awful family and their one-note joke about wanting to use new minutes, AT&T wins by default.


Allan said...

thank goodness for the demise of the leftover minutes family. Now i won't hurt myself diving for the remote to change the channel. On the other hand, Luke Wilson is really hard to watch in these spots. He and whoever wrote the ads are really mailing it in.

Can we get a post about the radio shack ads with Biz Markie, or is that fruit hanging too low?

Anonymous said...


Quivering P. Landmass said...

The single most boring ad war in history.

Joe S. said...

AT&T, in general, has horrendous commercials - they're U-Verse commercials aren't much better. I CAN NOT STAND that "Happy Pony" commercial - if you can't think of anything funny to say, don't say anything at all.

Cox Communications out here in California has pretty bad stuff, too. Look 'em up, even if you're not going to break them down.