Like most of America, you're probably watching the all-out holiday advertising war between the two leading cell phone providers.
Frustrated, perhaps, with the staying power of those fun "there's an app for that" ads (Apple is known for finding a clever idea and sticking with it to the point of complete exhaustion. It seems Justin Long will be playing Mac, for example, until well into his own middle age), Verizon fought back with the most emasculating force in advertising: sarcasm.
Their "there's a map for that" campaign exploited an AT&T weakness and caused nothing short of a war to break out in the courts and in prime time. In fact, if anything will get us out of this recession, it may be the unprecedented level of media buying between these two giants.
But, for AT&T and Apple, it's more than a brute force. The two have teamed up to leverage unique aspects of each of their authentic brands to change the conversation. The advantage they're both talking about is: the ability to use voice and data together.
AT&T - the category leader and uber-practical and sophisticated brand - brought in Luke Wilson to add a human element to its essentially intellectual argument: doesn't it make sense that you would talk and type on one device? At the same time, no less.
But, be honest, you've probably never thought about typing and talking together. Or, at least, it's not a feature you're looking for. That's where Apple comes in. They are the standard in consumer expectation. They seem to know what we need before we ourselves are even able to put words to it. They can make talk and type not only cool, but really, really desirable.
Together, the campaigns appeal to our egos and our brains. We want to try it, to make it our own. Suddenly this little-known feature is a game changer. Apple's ads create demand and AT&T's fulfill it. Rarely are cooperative campaigns so complementary and powerful.