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When marketing attacks, Apple gives as good as it gets

by Andrea List

Not one to shy away from a little “friendly” competition, Verizon is at it again. Instead of its foe-du jour, (Comcast, around these parts) this time the telecommunications giant is taking on Apple and theiPhone. Recent commercials for Verizon mobile phones feature a play on Apple’s “There’s an app for that” tag line. Boasting a far greater coverage network than AT&T – the exclusive cellular provider for iPhone – Verizon heralds, “There’s a map for that,” to show the coverage disparity.

It seems Apple is the punching-bag-of-choice these days. The popularity of the revolutionary iPhone has prompted attacks from the likes of Verizon and BlackBerry, while long-time rival Microsoft launched its “I’m a PC” campaign in direct response to Apple’s Mac computer ads featuring actors Justin Long and John Hodgman. Microsoft’s newest marketing campaigns may be focusing on the launch of its Windows 7 operating system, but they still manage to allude to its self-proclaimed superiority to Macs.


Image Credit: PC World

Taking the opportunity to go on the offensive again, Apple is set to launch attack ads attempting to lure PCers to the Mac by shining a light on Windows’ susceptibility to viruses and complicated interface. If consumers are looking to upgrade old computers, this is as good a time as any for Apple to try to winsome converts. But why the decision to use such contentious marketing messages?

The London Times blames it on the American economy. According to a Times interview, “In tough times, marketers know that people become more rational in their decision-making, so they're somewhat more susceptible to being told straight out: ‘This product is better than the other one.'” Be careful what you say in the heat of battle, however; incense your competitor enough and you could end up with a lawsuit. Gatorade didn’t take kindly to advertising claims from Powerade and ended up going to court and involving the FDA over the matter. Subway even sent Domino’s a cease-and-desist letter (the pizza chain subsequently lighted it on fire in its next commercial).

Although it’s unlikely Apple will sue or be sued, the battle for computing and mobile supremacy rages on as consumers hold tight to their wallets. Who will be the next to take on the world’s most admired company?




Due to issues with spam, comments are moderated and will take time to appear

Rebecca Higgins

In addition to its "maps," Verizon's android phone is taking on the iPhone in their recent 'iDon't' ad teasing the November launch of Droid.

Andrea List


I just saw that commercial this weekend, too. When you're a market leader everybody wants a piece of you. It will be interesting to see if/how Apple chooses to respond to Droid. Apple's also facing competition from T-Mobile's myTouch 3G, which as chosen to face-off against the iPhone with a celebrity-endorsement campaign.

Brian Chiou

I think there is another player who will be more than willing to take a jab at Apple (or may have already through Verizon), Google. Over the past year, key things have happened.

Google partnered with Verizon to put their platform on their phones.

Google board member, Dr. Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple's board of advisors.

Quote from Steve Jobs,

“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recluse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.”

found at

Andrea List

That's a good point, Brian. Apple has touched so many parts of our lives through its technology. Brands that feel the threat aren't going to come from just one industry. Telecom, operating systems and now search are all defending what may have once been pretty firm stakes in the ground because Apple has emerge as a formidable opponent.

What do you think of Apple’s new Mac/PC ads?

Brian Chiou

I think the Apple's new Mac/PC ads are witty, but it only speaks to a specific type of audience. (their end-user, which seeks quality)

On the flip-side, Microsoft does a good job delivering to their audience. (end-users looking for the best bang for the buck)

Here's something that may be of interest to you :

It shows that i-Phone is starting to take over RIM (Blackberry) technologies market share. Could it be the plethora of commercials we've seen lately where these private business owners "Have an app for that" on their iPhone?

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