My Favorite Advertizing Betrayal

In competitive markets, the competition gets tough. Sometimes, personal. You’ll see this in car commercials where they paint the competition in a negative light in a not-so-subtle way. I love watching the cutthroat back-and-forth between certain brands. It makes commercial breaks more entertaining.

My favorite of these? The Verizon guy. I grew up with the commercials of the Verizon guy in the most bizarre places, speaking into the receiver of the telephone: “Can you hear me now?” nearly every commercial break. Truly iconic. I thought he had all but disappeared.

But then, just recently, the tides turned. The Verizon guy appeared on my TV, but he wasn’t wearing red, he was wearing yellow. He had switched to Sprint. I couldn’t help but wonder what the Verizon marketing team’s reaction was to this. I like to imagine tears. It makes it a little funnier.

What’s so great about this betrayal is that it says to the customer, “Why are you paying high prices for a 1% difference in service? Verizon wasn’t even worth the price to their own spokesman.”

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