googleandroidcampaign header Advertising Launch:  Verizon Android Takes on iPhone

by David Capece

Forrester predicts that Google’s Android will overtake Apple’s iPhone as the 2nd largest smartphone platform by 2012.  “The sheer scale of Android releases should also play an important part, as many more smartphones will carry Android in coming years and should appeal to a wider base than narrower device ranges like the BlackBerry and iPhone lines,” said Forrester Analyst Ken Dulaney.

That’s a bold prediction for Google to topple the hottest, most buzzworthy phone in the world.  The first step in the Android attack, an advertising campaign Droid Does, has launched and we like what we see.  TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid says, “Verizon isn’t pulling any punches: it calls out basically every major weakness on the iPhone, from its inability to run background applications to the App Store’s walled garden. The site kicks off with a stream of things that the iPhone can’t do, mimicking the black text-on-white background commonly seen in Apple ads but replacing it with statements like iDon’t run simultaneous apps.”

This campaign is brilliant for several reasons as follows:

1) Insider Feel:  One of the challenges for Google is to figure out how to appeal to the masses without alienating true influencers.  This ad speaks to insiders, techies, and influencers.  There is no overt “we are google.  android is great.”

2) Attack Ad with Humor:  Politicians take note…this is a brilliant attack ad.  The attack ad is hard hitting with a lot of “I don’t” statements that slam the iPhone.  These statements pass muster and seem credible.  The best part is that when you first see the ad, you think it might be an Apple ad (nice choice in music), so there is great irony when you find out who the true author is.

3)  Branding Without the Brand:  Somehow Verizon and Google got on the same page and managed to not seem like a “phone company.”  Verizon was willing to do the ad without putting the Verizon brand front-and-center.  Likewise for Google and Android.  This ad is worth talking about, and since the brands weren’t overbearing, it gives bloggers and other insiders the chance to tell the story.

While Android is off to a good start with a buzzworthy campaign, this is just the first attack.  A quick blogsearch of the past month reveals that iPhone has 10 times as many search results as Android (20 million to 2 million over the past month).  Accordingly, let’s stay tuned for Apple’s counterpunch.  Steve Jobs and team:  Google just put points on the board.  It’s your move.