Anybody who wondered how AT&T managed to stand up against the Verizon Wireless February iPhone launch wasn’t paying much attention to their TV set.
AT&T had been assuring investors for much of 2010 that its numbers wouldn’t fall off a cliff if arch-rival Verizon Wireless got its hands on iPhone, ending its exclusivity. The logic was that customers wouldn’t want to break their two-year contracts. Most customers were also tied to AT&T via family plans, making it even more tricky for them to leave.
Still, AT&T wasn’t about to leave it to chance. So it went about things the old-fashioned way: it threw money into advertising.
New figures show AT&T’s first-quarter wireless marketing budget was double that of Verizon Wireless. In the first three months of the year AT&T spent a whopping $451.83 million on wireless advertising compared with Verizon’s relatively modest $227 million spend, according to a report from advertising research firm Kantar Media.
And when it came to iPhone-specific ads AT&T’s spending stood out even more, at triple that of Verizon’s. AT&T spent $100.9 million on iPhone advertising in the first quarter compared with a $34.5 million outlay at bigger rival Verizon Wireless, according to Kantar, which said the vast majority was spent on TV ads.