Monday, February 13, 2012

SNL skit shows Verizon 4G LTE ads accurately: confusing but amusing

We've said before that Apple's marketing department has it down. Their ads are simple, easy to follow, and focus on "what you can do" with something rather than specs.

On the February 11, 2012 Saturday Night Live chose to spotlight the difference between great marketing and confusing marketing. Although there are number of rivals (and non-rivals) to Apple that SNL could have chosen, in this case, they focused on a partner of Apple's, at least for the last year or so: Verizon.

Many of these types of ads (and we pick on Android a lot, despite our preference for Android vs. iOS) focus too much on specs. What people want to know is "what can I do with this tech (device, software, etc.)" not how fast the processor is.

Watch the "commercial" below, which picks on Verizon's LTE ads. It's a big funnier if you know that some of the stuff in it is faux, although we don't know if it's faux because the writers don't know tech or intentional.

Among the tidbits:

Customer: "You know I've been hearing a lot about Verizon's new 4G LTE."

Salesman: "Ah, you should be. It's Verizon's fastest, most reliable 4G network. (it has more than one?) With 4G LTE, you'll get speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G."

Customer: "So what does that mean?"

Salesman: "Well, let's say you've got the new HTC Thunderbolt (a year-old device? New?) or even the LG Vortex (not an LTE phone), you can hook up your HTC or your LG to your 4G LTE and you'll have Verizon's LTE in over 190 cities and 118 airports."

Customer: "So it's faster?"

Salesman: Well, let's say you've got the new Droid RAZR by Motorola, or the HTC Rezound, or even the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, you're talking 4G LTE on almost our entire 3G footprint. 1 song, 4 seconds."

Customer: "The song is 4 seconds (maybe download?)?"

Salesman: "1 movie, 1 hour."

Customer: (The obvious question) "To download?"

[We might have said, if we were writing the skit, "No, to play.  Verizon 4G LTE is so fast you can actually watch the movie faster.]

Salesman: "A 10MB PowerPoint presentation in 15 seconds."

Customer looks confused: "I really don't know what that means."

Salesman: "Are you a small business owner?"

Customer: "No, I live off a settlement."

Salesman: "You're a Native American."

Customer: "Not on a settlement, off a settlement. I got hit by a city bus."

Salesman: "Got it. Well, let's say you were starting a small business owner and you wanted to run the entire business from your smartphone."

Customer: "Well, I wouldn't want to do that."

Salesman: "Like your Droid RAZR by Motorola, or HTC Rezound, or even the Samsung Galaxy Nexus."

Customer: "That sounds terrible."

Salesman: "Here's a 3G network (holds up a glass of orange juice)."

Customer: "What?"

Salesman: "Put it this way. If you want to have 4G LTE, then you have to buy a Droid Bionic, or a Samsung Stratosphere, or a Pantech Breakout, or a Compaq Mini Netbook, or the Droid Xyboard tablet."

Customer: "And, what if I drop it in the toilet?"

TigerDirect StoreFront
Salesman: "It breaks immediately."

Customer: "Thanks."

Voiceover: "Verizon. It's an old person's nightmare."

It's unclear that's true, but it is clear that going into a high-tech store is tougher on those who don't understand the technology already. Which is why, perhaps, the iPhone is popular among non-techies. They can "get it" fairly quickly.

We assume you know why the iPhone wasn't mentioned at all: no LTE versions, yet.

Watch the skit. It's worth the about 1 1/2 minutes.

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