Advertising Done Right: “There’s a Map for That”

Dear Copy Bitch: While I appreciate your insights about “failed marketing,” let’s try to be more positive and show some good marketing, k?

—Paula S., Mass.

Answer: Fair enough. I’ve seen this television spot, and I think it’s quite good. It’s for Verizon Wireless and the tagline is “There’s a map for that.” It’s a hat-tip to the competitor’s ubiquitous “There’s an app for that” tagline that’s really caught on and become part of the present-day lexicon. But it’s also effective because 1) it, too, is memorable and 2) its point is clear. Verizon claims to have better overall 3G “map” coverage than AT&T. I’ve seen the spot twice, and it struck me both times for its cleverness AND clear message (not an easy thing to do).

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5 replies
  1. Don Kelley
    Don Kelley says:

    There was a Zogby Poll published a few days ago showing that 65% iof respondants through the Verizon “There’s a map for that” ad was effective.

    I say maybe…if you’re watching the TV spot and paying attention to it. Many people don’t do that. They may have the TV on and they’re only sort-of listening because it’s a commercial pod. Or they’re about to fast forward the TiVo past the ads because they can. Or they’re listening to that same ad on the radio.

    In the last three – especially the radio scenario – it’s not an effective ad at all. Just the opposite. “There’s a map for that” sounds so much like the extremely well-established “There’s an app for that” line that it immediately makes you think of the iPhone. On the radio there’s no picture of two bubble maps that show the alleged coverage difference. It sounds like an Apple spot.

    What’s worse, anyone who has had both Verizon and AT&T knows that the coverage difference is nowhere near as great as the Map spot would lead you to believe. AT&T’s voicemail service is much better than Verizon (no two-day delayed delivery of messages), and the iPhone is vastly superior to anything that Verizon offers.

    Verizon has a coverage map. The iPhone has an app for everything you can imagine. It’s no contest, and the Map spot merely serves to remind you of that.

    Reply
  2. Don Kelley
    Don Kelley says:

    The current “I’m a PC/I’m a Mac” spot battle is another example of good competing ads that serve to reinforce the image of the brand that already owns the “hill.” Good as they are, the Windows 7 spots make the Mac spots look even better. And what’s the Windows 7 attack? It’s not as expensive.

    What would you prefer? Less expensive…or easier to use, has way more tools and apps and never gets a virus?

    I, by the way, don’t have a Mac. But I’d like one.

    Reply
  3. robynbradley
    robynbradley says:

    I LOVE the “I’m a PC/I’m a Mac” spots. Great casting and writing. And, of course, a really, really strong message. But how effective is effective when you consider that PCs dominate the marketplace? (In other words, I wonder how much marketshare Apple gained?) Some of my techie friends say that like any ads, the Mac ads are misleading, too, and that Macs aren’t as perfect as they’re made out to be.

    Another example of bad ads: the very (short-lasting) PC ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. The next round of ads after that–the ones that showed regular, everyday people from kids to small business owners using PCs and claiming “I’m a PC”–were/are stronger, IMO.

    Going back to Verizon for a minute…the company had the original strong ad in that industry (don’t forget, they invented “Can you hear me now?” which has great brand recognition, along with the nerdy-but-cool Verizon dude, whom I have a crush on).

    Reply

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