AdWeek ran a piece yesterday on the brewing Twitter storm over T-Mobile's new hashtag campaign designed to bash Verizon. The hashtag, #NeverSettleForVerizon has given birth to a number of Verizon testimonials on Twitter and much back and forth banter. It may be raining, but there is no real storm here.
I happen to be reading So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (review coming) and some of the tweets reminded me of the impetus that moves these controversial subjects through the tunnel.
We like to participate in the troubles of others, whether virtually or in real life. There's something about social media that reminds me of spectators at the Colosseum in Rome waiting for the lions to devour the poor wretch in the fray. It's an interesting phenomenon. Some would consider it a crisis, but it's really an issue to deal with. I think we might hope for a crisis-something to talk about on Twitter, or watch others talk.
It's entertainment. I've chuckled more than once at controversial tweets. People are creative.
But the bottom line is that T-Mobile is willing to put up with people talking about their weaknesses to push for the three differentiators they have decided set them above Verizon (according to spokesperson): "The point here is that NO customers, including Verizon customers-should ever have to settle for things like two-year contracts, costly overages fees, slower LTE network speeds and other carrier tricks."
The real point here is: every carrier (brand) has its tricks/downsides. The name of the game in marketing is use your upsides to place you above the rest. With social media in the mix, the competition becomes risky, but much more interesting.
A thanks to Rick Haring (@rjharing) for the tip on the AdWeek piece.
Photo Credit: Competition/shutterstock