AT&T finally responded in kind to Verizon Wireless's ad campaign comparing the two carriers' 3G coverage. Good thing. AT&T's own attack ad follows on the heels of a judge yesterday denying its request to force Verizon to pull the ads it alleges are false and misleading. Unfortunately for AT&T, its new ad won't do much to make people forget the red and blue coverage maps of the Verizon ads.
The 30-second spot features trustworthy-seeming actor Luke Wilson standing in front of a board, going down a side-by-side checklist of advantages AT&T has over Verizon. They include AT&T's familiar claim to have the "fastest" 3G network, the network that lets you "talk and surf at the same time", the most popular smartphones, and access to over 100,000 apps. The last two essentially mean, "We have the iPhone."
When Wilson comes to the last item on the checklist-Names that start with the letter V-Wilson chuckles, "Hey, they got one." Whoa, some knife-twist. The commercial has none of the zing or cleverness of Verizon's "There's a Map for That" ad, mocking Apple's iPhone ads, or its rivals more recent holiday-themed spots, especially the one placing the iPhone on the Island of Misfit Toys.
And AT&T should stop touting itself as the "fastest' 3G network -- it simply rings hollow in light of the admitted difficulties it's had handling data traffic from the iPhone. If comments in the tech blogosphere are any guide, people aren't buying the new ad. "AT&T ignores the Verizon commercial's claims of poor coverage and responds with 'We're Better,' read one comment on Engadget. "LAME...and I even like AT&T," read another on Phonescoop, in relation to the AT&T ad.