use creativity;

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ideas for AT&T-Mobile Commericals

The scene is familiar. A white background showing three figures. The first, a balding suit reminiscent of Colin Mochrie but without the charm, stands next to the second, an average looking dude who is probably neither as handsome nor as hip as he thinks he is. They of course represent AT&T and the iPhone. Contrast them to the third, a rail thin young lady with hair that appears to have more gravity than the rest of her. She represents the T-Mobiles MyTouch3G and much like AT&T’s claim of data superiority and likely the device itself, she is attractive unless you think too much about it.

Most of the substance to these advertisements is the comments back and forth between the two devices, which is strangely reminiscent of another series of commercials involving a guy who wrote a book about hobos and another guy whom I want to pelt with dodgeballs. The comic relief is provided by AT&T. The interesting thing about these commercials is that product that is being sold really isn’t ever represented by an individual, which in hindsight seems prophetic as AT&T has recently agreed to aquire T-Mobile. Soon it will be only a memory.

I am not going to waste much space exclaiming why this acquisition is a phenomenally bad idea for consumers, because I think we all know that it is, nor am I going to spend a lot of time trying to compose conspiratorial theories about how regulators could possibly allow this sale to go through as it is a pretty simple case of follow the money. What I am going to do, as the good little consumer that I am, is try to provide a couple of ideas on how AT&T can retain the advertising campaign dollars that T-Mobile has already spent.

Idea 1: MyTouch3G girl walks up to iPhone and AT&T guy and begins apologizing to iPhone for talking so bad A&T all this time. It turns out that AT&T owns the bank that owns her sweet motorcycle (Which represents T-Mobiles 4G network). They all group hug and she gives the iPhone he helmet and he get’s on the motorcycle and rides off the screen.

Possible Markets: Primetime Broadcast TV.

Target Demographic: Current iPhone owners who hate their service but not enough to make the hardware switch to Verizon.

Likelihood of becoming reality: Not bad.

Idea 2: MyTouch3G girl and iPhone walk on screen together hand in hand and find AT&T guy in a laboratory. There are two sheet covered gurneys with tubes and wires running to a box with a big switch on it. There is a sign on the box that says 5G. The two question AT&t as to what he is doing. He laughs maniacally and just as lighting strikes he throws the switch dimming the lights slightly. After a moment the sheets fly off and the look of horror and amazement is shown on the faces of our two intrepid devices as on the gurneys you see the new iPhone 5 and and the device sit. The iPhone is a cybernetic hipster that is just campy enough to cool, outshining it’s predecessor in almost every regard and the device is 15 times hotter and much more scantily clad than the MyTouch3G girl (because that is what the selling tool of the original commercial was, right). After showing off the newcomers, it flashes to AT&T to who with a menacing gesture simply utters “Destroy Them”.

Possible Markets: Sporting Events. Internet Viral. Fox.

Target Demographic: Early adopters. People with short memories. Morons.

Likelihood of becoming reality: Fair to midland.

Idea 3: AT&T walk on screen together and and come across MyTouch3G girl working on her motorcycle. AT&T elbows the iPhone as say “Hey man, wanna double down on this bitch” AT&T giggles, rubs his hands together and walks off screen. The iPhone simply shrugs and follows him.

Possible Markets: The Onion. Auto Racing. MMA

Target Demographics: Douchenozzles.

Likelihood of becoming reality: Yeah, no.

posted by Matthew at 2:11 pm  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

FourSquare’s $100M gamble isn’t totally crazy.

In the High Tech sector, millionaires have historically become ordained by coming up with an idea, developing it, gaining notoriety and then selling off to some huge McMegaCorp. This has played out over and over and over again. Sometimes the moves make financial sense and other times they don’t but the prevailing wisdom amongst entrepreneurs appears to be “When a Big Boy is willing to write a Big Check, be willing to cash it”.

At least this is the impression that I get reading this article from Valleywag.
It describes Foursquare as “Arrogant” for turning down the money ($100M), while noting that other (at the time) fledgling companies like Twitter and Facebook balked at considerably more money than was on the table at this deal. $500M in the case of Twitter and $900M in the case of Facebook.

My initial reaction to this article was to agree with the author because Foursquare is really nothing more than annoying noise to me and I would gladly sell it for whatever someone would give me for it. On a personal level it holds no value for me. I don’t use it, and I don’t feel it enriches my life nor my society. I think there are major issues with constantly publishing everything you do.

That being said, all of those things that make me not value Foursquare actually add to Foursquare’s value. Money is made on this here internet thing by advertising. Advertising has become kind of a dirty word in our culture because we see so much of it and we care very little for most of it. The secret to successful advertising is to put your product into the minds of people who would be interested in your product if the knew it existed. This is where Foursquare really has potential to excel.

The idea behind Foursquare is that you use your GPS enabled device to “check in” at various locations. You can earn various awards (badges) for doing so. My understanding of the minutiae is rather sketchy of honestly, but that is the gist of it.

This is potentially more valuable than Twitter or Facebook because Foursquare’s clientele appear to be happy to shill for the places they go, for free. This crosses over into the realm of Twitter and Facebook and is in essence free second hand advertising. This could make Foursqaure an attractive place for local business to advertise.

Another thing about the Foursquare users is that they are happy to surrender their personal information to the world for the internet equivalent of $24 worth of trinkets and beads. Through usage they profile themselves, define and publish their buying habits, and express those habits to anyone who is willing to listen. These users are easy to target advertising to because you know what they already like and willing to spend money on. The key to good advertising is marketing yourself to people who defiantly want to buy your product.

Besides being ready and willing, it appears that Foursquarers are also able, as the cost of membership is GPS enabled smart-phone and the time and money to go out. For the most part if you are using the Foursquare service, you probably have the secret affluence badge.

I am not sure if that is worth $100,000,000, but it actually could be and that is more than I can say for most of these acquisitions especially given the trouble that Facebook has had monetizing their popularity due to their user base rebelling every time they make an adjustment to their privacy policy.

posted by Matthew at 9:44 am  

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