Tuesday, November 24, 2009 Published: 02:00 PM EST
Motorola has exceeded Apple in brand loyalty among men ages 18-and-up since the launch of its new Droid handset, but the iPhone maker has remained well ahead of competitor BlackBerry, according to one study.
According to new, daily tracking statistics from YouGov's BrandIndex, Apple dropped from a peak score of 48.1 in the month of November to a score of 22 last week. That took it below Motorola, which remained relatively static from its month-long peak of 32.3, finishing last week with a score of 29.3.
The study's scale ranges from -100 to 100, based on interviews conducted with 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. YouGov conducts more than 1.2 million interviews per year, selected from an online panel of more than 1.5 million unique individuals. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.
The company said its survey demonstrates that Motorola has likely come out on top of the ongoing advertising dispute between Verizon and AT&T.
"Motorola has seen its brand loyalty unaffected by AT&T's lawsuits against Verizon Wireless and ad war bashing," YouGov said. "But it seems to have taken a toll on Blackberry, which has withered under all the Droid/iPhone marketing and hype."
This week, Apple indirectly joined the dispute with two new ads that tout features available only on AT&T's UMTS/GSM network. The advertisements debuted after the most recent study results from YouGov were released; any potential impact from the ads likely wouldn't be seen for weeks.
It's a similar story to earlier this month, when Verizon's brand perception soared while AT&T sunk in the 18- to 34-year-old target demographic. The study suggested that Verizon and Motorola's advertising campaign for the Droid, which launched on Oct. 18, proved effective. Those ads, along with network-specific TV spots from Verizon, directly targeted both Apple's iPhone and AT&T's coverage.
Back in mid-October, right after Verizon started running its Droid ads, YouGov asked 18- to 34-year-olds whether they would recommend Verizon or AT&T to a friend:
Verizon received a rating of 8.3, while AT&T received a 1.4. A few days later, the carriers were approximately tied around a rating of 10, but from there, customer ratings of Verizon began to soar, while those for AT&T dropped.Around Nov. 5, AT&T’s overall rating was approximately -8, while Verizon hovered near 28. BrandIndex says it interviews 5,000 people each day, and that its margin of error is plus or minus 2 percent.
The scores indicate a relative positioning, with higher positive scores being better.
And then the ads taking potshots at AT&T’s 3G network started and, ultimately, AT&T tried to retaliate. The apparent result was improved standing for Motorola at the apparent expense of AT&T and Apple. I don’t have the original report and must confess to be a little leery about the way AppleInsider has reported it because it points to an 18 plus segment of men, which is broader than YouGov or other market researchers generally split out age groups. I would have expected 18 to 34 again, but given the early hour at which I write, reaching YouGov’s New York office for clarification is out of the question.
So for the moment let’s go with the report as AppleInsider summarizes it. Apple’s brand dropped from a peak of 48.1 in November down to 22, a number that Motorola beat by more than ten points, showing that the latter is benefiting from the ad wars:
“Motorola has seen its brand loyalty unaffected by AT&T’s lawsuits against Verizon Wireless and ad war bashing,” YouGov said. “But it seems to have taken a toll on Blackberry, which has withered under all the Droid/iPhone marketing and hype.”
I’ll be checking with YouGov to see how the numbers for Verizon and AT&T have stacked up since the prior report. Also, the latest data came before the Apple ads touting how users could talk and be online at the same time, so there may be some backlash yet to come. And given the talk between Verizon and Apple about carrying the iPhone, there are all sorts of other implications that could play a role.
Motorola targets young men with its most testosterone-heavy TV commercial yet
Someone had fun writing this ad copy:
Droid. Should a phone be pretty? Sould it be a tiara wearing digitally clueless beauty pageant queen? Or should it be fast? Racehorse duct-taped to a Scud missile fast. We say the latter. So we built the phone that does. Does rip through the Web like a circular saw through a ripe banana. Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone? In truth? No. It's not a princess. It's a robot. A phone that trades hair-do for can-do.
The new Droid commercial that debuted in prime-time Thursday night (and is pasted below the fold) opened a new front in Motorola (MOT) and Verizon's (VZ) $100 million ad campaign to take market share from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone
Earlier commercials had appealed to the fragile male ego with icons of masculinity: stealth bombers, heavyweight fighters, rock-crushing machinery.
This one goes after the competition by painting it — and its users — as effeminate.
It's a strategy as old as the schoolyard, and it seems to be working — at least on one side of the yard. A new YouGov BrandIndex survey taken Thursday shows Motorola's buzz rising relative to Apple's among young men 18 and older. And the company seems to be on track in its stated goal of selling 1 million Droids by New Years.
It remains to be seen whether it has burned its bridges to the other half of the market in the process.