By Honey & Fox @honeynfox Feb. 21, 2016, at 11:55 p.m.
Readers, we advise you to get a bowl of popcorn ready – because today we are going to breakdown “The Cell Network Clapback.” If you’re anything like Honey, you naturally notice the littlest things, especially in media and know when drama is about to breakout. If you’re more like Fox, you get a rush of excitement from any and all back-and-forth conflict. And this time, there is no exception to the feelings we received from this network battle we’re about to cover.
Late last December, Verizon released a commercial to highlight themselves against their competitors’. The commercial "A Better Network as Explained by Colorful Balls" did just that – used circular balls going down a ramp to show their superiority.
The commercial began with a gate opening and four different colored balls rolling out separate tracks. The colors, of course, corresponded with the network it represented. What an intriguing idea! Visual representation tends to resonate better with people as opposed to just stating facts. With various sized balls and statistics, they displayed how their competitors’ network stack up against their own, according to “RootMetrics in the nation’s largest independent study." Pretty much they claimed Verizon's wireless service to be better than T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint, even using the term “won” in regards to the survey.
Kicking off the new year, T-Mobile released a commercial on YouTube in response to set the record straight. This video (made in a pop-up style à la classic VH1) questioned Verizon’s claims at every turn. They even titled the video "Busting Verizon's Balls Ad." (The title creator obviously deserves a bonus.)
But it doesn't end there. A few days later TV viewers watching what seemed to be the Verizon's commercial noticed something a little different. The ramp stage was present as balls rolled down with a voice narrating. But wait! Listen closely because this is the start of the cell network clapback. T-Mobile responded with another version using a similar style as Verizon, but this time with their own fact checking. I have to admit that T-Mobile got some balls, pun intended.
Sprint, another contender in the ago old “Best Network Battle” decides to throw their hat into the ring. Airing Jan. 24, the same day as T-Mobile’s ad (purely coincidental btw), Sprint showed their own colorful ball rolling commercial and called their competitor out. It’s not the first time competitors attack one another, but to do so with their own creative style and visuals, well, we got ready and seated with wide eyes waiting to see how long they were going to keep the ball rolling.
During the Super Bowl, both networks threw hits at one another questioning the other’s speed and reliability via Twitter. Tweets with images of speed test comparisons were posted on both accounts. Verizon even cleverly wrote a tweet questioning T-Mobile users of their ability to view ads.
(The replies and conversation on this tweet are beyond entertaining)
On Feb. 8, T-Mobile posted a tweet with another rendition of the commercial that played during Super Bowl Sunday, but this time with Steve Harvey. Harvey showed Verizon how to make a proper apology including the hashtag #BALLOGIZE. They paid for not only a celebrity and Super Bowl time but also Twitter Ads the next day.
For those unfamiliar with the prior incident at the Miss Universe competition, Steve Harvey mistakenly awarded the crown to Miss Colombia when in fact it was Miss Philippines that was the winner.
T-Mobile brilliantly used this incident to promote their own commercial. Their Twitter page displayed a whole array of Steve Harvey tweets with clip videos and meme-styled images with phrases. They even changed their Twitter header image.
So let’s review, Verizon threw shades, T-Mobile responded back with their own clapback, Sprint jumped in, AT&T shakes their heads sitting back watching, Verizon having gotten dissed with their own commercial style doesn’t take this lying down and flex their muscles, T-Mobile’s not one to back down throws hits and the fight ensues.
So tell us what do you think of this network clapback? Who are you rooting for? Did you take part in T-Mobile’s #BallBusterChallenge? Which display of creative marketing and word play do you enjoy most?
Spread the word. Invite others to join the movement. The Honey and Fox blog is coming soon.