The Need for Speed: Fios vs. Optimum

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how the first rule of marketing is keeping your promises. I was reminded of that post while watching TV last night and seeing a commercial for Optimum Online, which took a direct shot at Verizon Fios. For those of you who do not live in New York or the surrounding area, Verizon has been bullying its way into the cable market, advertising higher speeds and better performance than the alternative.

The problem is, now their competitors have caught on. And they’re advertising the same thing right back. Both sides are saying their speeds are faster. Both sides say that tests prove it.

This is a fundamental breakdown in marketing, and one of the biggest risks you take when you do comparative advertising. Now consumers are seeing both sides claiming they are faster, and we don’t believe either. Someone is lying (or at least using test data deceptively). And we’ve lost faith in your marketing.

It’s probably the result of Verizon’s original ads being successful. It’s probably based on data that says that speed is the number one issue for cable customers. But whatever it is, all we think now is that no one is keeping their promises. And we lose faith in the industry as a whole.

Better luck next time.