sprint

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When I first went to work in the advertising business on the AT&T account, word was, the huge company didn’t know how to market. Prior to the breakup of the Baby Bells, AT&T was one big monopoly. You either used their service or you didn’t. Deregulation came along and competitors (MCI, Sprint) raised their heads. The initial spanking AT&T took was quite a wake-up call.

Then I moved into the healthcare industry. Word was, they didn’t know how to market either. Healthcare systems and big hospitals were physician-driven, physician run. They knew nothing about brand as a marketing principles, though they did understand the power of brand. Participating in an era when large healthcare companies began acting more like consumer packaged goods companies was exciting. And the fur flew.

One of the last bastions of poor marketing these days is the area of education. That is changing somewhat thanks to the introduction of technology products, services and devices to the class room. Education orgs. suffer from a similar fate of the healthcare industry; they tend to be run by academicians and teachers. Not a marketing hot bed for sure. Thumb through the pages of education newspapers or teaching and learning magazines and the level of creativity and salesmanship you see is juvenile. That said, education company Amplify is beginning to do some nice work. So hopefully .edu is pointing in the right direction. Oops, and there’s the Bell.

Peace.

 

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Google’s “culture of technological obesity” reared its really big head yesterday and the company in early 2012 will be getting into the hardware business — following its intention announced yesterday to buy Motorola Mobility.  We’re not talking a nail salon breaking out pumice stones and getting into the foot care business, were talking about a software company buying manufacturing plants, accountants to manage depreciation, thousands of other-continent employees, and then playing the materials engineering,  just-in-time game.  No Beta release here.  No limited invites here.  (I don’t know how Apple does it, frankly.)

This is one bold, bold move. And there’s no reason it shouldn’t work.  There are hundreds of reasons it shouldn’t work, but no one reason.  The justice department had better staff up me droogies.

Unless someone comes along and proves that mobile computing causes brain or pituitary cancer, mobile computing is here to stay and with one company owning the OS, device, search and funding (advertising), it feels like quite the monopoly.  And don’t think Larry Page doesn’t have his eye on Sprint or Metro PCS. Google can eat. And eat. And think. And plan. And spend. This is going to be one wild planet-changing ride! If there was a global, publically traded law firm, I’d say buy stock today. Peace!

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So I’m at the Jet game yesterday – my first time at the new Meadowlands stadium.  Were I dreaming I’d have though myself at the old Meadowlands stadium with a skim coat of concrete and a few more pork sandwich stations.  The Jets looked the same as I remember from back in the day, but there was one really cool new thing about the stadium: the video monitors.  I’m like a quarter mile away form the screen and the hi-def was amazing. Hair follicle amazing. It was pretty hard to take your eyes of the screen and watch the game on the field. (They never replayed the Santonio drop though and, so, still have some editing policy to deal with — but that’s a story for another day.) 

I had to leave the game early in the 4th quarter because my ride needed to pick up his son at baseball practice – feakin’ kids – and on the train from the stadium we sat near some dudes with HTC EVOs (or some such) phones…on the Sprint network.  They were streaming the end of the game.  A little freezy, a little jumpy, but live. “The Jet’s are on the 20!”  My eyes aren’t the best but let me tell you shrinking a football game to the size of a postage stamp is not optimal.  You can’t read the graphics, the yard markers or even the helmets, but whoever was providing the game on this hacked channel was showing us the future. 

So in one day I saw both ends of the video spectrum.  The world’s best and the world’s worst.  Perfecting the world’s worst will be the battle.  Smart phones the battle field.  Peace!

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Poor Sprint.

I feel for Sprint, I really do.  They were the first and only top-tier national fiber optic voice and data network yet they never made it past #3. They started when analog telephone calls and digital data packets were coin of the realm.  Today, when speed is needed more than ever, when iPhone users are complaining about dropped calls while sitting in front of computers with sluggish load times, poor Sprint and its lightning fast fiber still aren’t getting any respect. Fiber is an idea consumers understand. Sadly, the story has never been correctly told.  

FIOS, a Verizon product built on Fiber, is gaining mindshare in NY as a faster means of digital transport. (Fiber into the house makes machines scream.)  Sprint, on the other hand, is airing a TV spot promoting the HTC EVO mobile phone running over its 4G network — the world’s first 4G network – using a strategy about “firsts.”  The TV spots borrows a visual idea from Honda and Google (so much for firsts) showing other technology innovations tipping over in dominoes fashion. A Model T, knocks over a bi-plane which knocks over a steam locomotive, etc. It’s so far removed from fiber, a medium that connotes speed and clarity, you might as well be watching a Fruit Loops commercial.  

Verizon, via Droid, is implying “futures” in its TV work. Sprint focuses its images on the past. Quick, close your eyes. Visualize which company gets credit for speed? No contest.

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