Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AT&T's Luke Wilson ads: An irritant even an iPhone app can't solve?

After deciding last night that I'd seen the AT&T commercials starring Luke Wilson one too many times, I resolved to roll in today and dash off an exasperated post. Does the cell carrier really think that consumers are too stupid to realize that Verizon is criticizing AT&T's 3G network specifically, not its overall coverage, in its "We've Got A Map For That" campaign*? And if not, then why is AT&T airing ads in which Wilson talks about how AT&T covers 97 percent of the country with its regular network - which not only doesn't counter Verizon's claim, but could also be seen as confirming it, in a way?

Anyway, about that post: It turns out I didn't need to go ahead and write the rest of it, because several observers at Slate were wondering the same thing, too, as the battle to win smartphone customers continues to rage. To wit, Seth Stevenson's take on the Wilson-starring ads, and Farhad Manjoo's look at the applicability of Verizon's and AT&T's claims in general.

For the record, I have to agree with Stevenson: I much preferred Wilson as
Richie Tenenbaum, or in "Legally Blonde."


*An iPhone-owning conspiracy theorist I know, by the way, suggests that Verizon might in fact be trying to appeal to Apple executives with its campaign, so they'll be willing to ditch AT&T once its iPhone exclusivity agreement expires - something that analysts expect to happen sometime next year.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

what is this iphone you speak of?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, hacks all of you....turning to iphones(I refuse to capitalize) like they were Tiger Woods svelte bimbotic flavor of the day.......

PPPfffttt... A real man rides a treo700.

Luke Wilson is to Gary Coleman as a tree is to bark.

3g network be naught for the holier than though set, and as a treo owner user and at&t customer....as not what you can do for your half washed up actor brothers but if your half washed up actor brothers can get you a deal on a new Blackberry ..hmmmnnppphh

jrguyiii said...

What's really annoying is that AT&T is spending all of this time and money to make commercials where they aren't even disputing Verizon's claim. They are in fact admitting to their poor 3G service by focusing on other qualities between the 2 companies. The "Postcard" commercials are rediculous and the most annnoying. Luke just stands there and reads off a list of cities. Sure, AT&T might be available in these cities, but in how much of each city does AT&T really cover? When you throw all those postcards on the map, of course it looks like AT&T covers the entire US. I am an AT&T customer only because of my job, but I will be switching to Verizon as soon as I can!

Anonymous said...

I wish I still had cingular, is was really good.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing: AT&T's network works just fine for people who live and travel in developed areas. If you live in a podunk, rural area that gets spotty 3G coverage, you probably aren't cool enough to have an i-Phone. So you folks can stick with your little wanna-be Blackberrys and go to Verizon.

Anonymous said...

I'm very happy with Verizon,especially after trying AT&T and Sprint.

Is this a hobby for you or do you get paid.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Verizon has the 3G market no doubt. But, who doesn't know that?

Check out which carrier law firms, hospitals and financial institutions use.

Get paid? You must be joking!

JE said...

To anonymous who thinks as long as you don't live in podunk all is well with AT&T, Consumer Reports just released their rankings of cell phone providers. Guess who was last in 19 of the 26 METROS they surveyed? That's right...AT&T. Verizon was #1 overall. Who's feeling all smug now?

SM said...

Verizon has more 3G coverage, but AT&T has better 3G where it is available. So if you live in Charlotte and spend most of your time here, AT&T is better based on speed.

Jim Mitchem said...

The mere fact that AT&T responded with a 'map' ad of any kind was evidence they were desperate to respond. Don't think any movie star could help them there.

david said...

I was wondering when someone was going to start making fun of these ads. They sound like a little kid who couldn't get their way! I actually liked Wilson before these ads.

Anonymous said...

Do the Luke Wilson ads even mention their crappy 3G coverage? They're not even addressing the issue. Who cares if I can get regular coverage in Nowhere, Arizona, if I can't use 3G?

Anonymous said...

If you want the best 3G Experience and now a 4G (10 times faster than 3G now available in Charlotte) experience you need to be on Sprint. Want proof..read PC World, Gizmodo or Boy Genius who all agreed that Sprint is the best Mobile Broadband provider, period!

Anonymous said...

WTH? The iPhone is so 2007... it's stale. I can't believe people are still carrying this thing. Probably the same people who paid $450 for the Moto Razr when it first came out.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:12pm - You consider NYC Podunk? Because that's one of the cities AT&T has a lot of trouble in.

Sure, you get 18 bars of signal. But the cell sites are so over saturated that nothing gets through.

Anonymous said...

I recently switched from AT&T to Verizon because I didn't get service in my house... I got 1 bar or none inside with ATT but I get full bars with Verizon. ATT's customer service was horrible to deal with. They had us jump through hoops only to tell us they couldn't do anything besides let us out if we paid the early termination fees (Duh! I could've done that a month ago before I wasted all my time with them)!! ATT might say they cover more or have more customers, but I think their service is crap.

Anonymous said...

"Here's the thing: AT&T's network works just fine for people who live and travel in developed areas. If you live in a podunk, rural area that gets spotty 3G coverage, you probably aren't cool enough to have an i-Phone. So you folks can stick with your little wanna-be Blackberrys and go to Verizon."


Well besides being delusional and thinking AT&T can actually provide coverage in ANY city without holes, you obviously aren't cool enough to realize there is no dash in iPhone.