The Super Bowl is less than a week away. The football game should be interesting. Can Tom Brady and the Patriots once again take the prize?
The advertising should be even more interesting. One category to watch in particular: Telecom.
Last year, T-Mobile and Sprint both attacked Verizon. The Sprint ad featured a fellow faking his own death in order to get out of a Verizon contract. T-Mobile opted for a Fifty Shades of Grey theme in two commercials, reminding people that Verizon’s fees and data caps were exceptionally painful. Which was fine if you were into pain—otherwise, you might want to switch. T-Mobile was especially aggressive last year, running a total of four Super Bowl ads, an unheard of investment. Both companies also attacked Verizon on social media.
Verizon certainly noticed. Just a few days after the Super Bowl, Verizon started offering unlimited data plans, something the company had long resisted. Faced with tough competitive claims, Verizon caved.
So it isn’t a huge surprise that this year Verizon will be running a Super Bowl ad of its own. The company clearly doesn’t want to sit back and let competitors turn the biggest media event of the year into a platform for attacking Verizon.
It isn’t clear how Sprint and T-Mobile will approach Super Bowl ad space this year. T-Mobile, in particular, is known for keeping things quiet and rolling out surprising marketing campaigns at the last minute.
I suspect we will see a lively battle. Verizon will try to assert its leadership. T-Mobile will likely lampoon the corporate giant, and Sprint might join the fray as well. Attacking Verizon is a promising approach for both challengers.
Keep an eye on the football game—that should be interesting—but the telecom game might be even more intriguing to follow.