Today, T-Mobile rolls out its largest ad campaign ever to tout the new Google phone, the myTouch 3G. The AT&T rival has recruited three public figures to champion the ads: Phil Jackson, former Bulls and Lakers coach, Jesse James, gearhead and TV star, and Whoopi Goldberg, who is still working, apparently.
The ads have plenty to boast about–the myTouch 3G is a great device, and Android is an excellent system–but they stop short of saying what they should. If they’re going to beat Apple at the smartphone game, they have to engage in the dirty business of telling customers how Apple screws over once-happy iPhone buyers. T-Mobile thinks that it’ll succeed by telling customers they can make the myTouch “100% You.” But all we really want is to be left alone, to install what we want and use our phones as we like.
For one thing, T-Mobile needs to tell customers that Google is no small part of this–they’re the big cheese of the Open Handset Alliance, not some ancillary feature that you tack on at the end of the product name.
They also need to get customers to understand that the iPhone isn’t the only phone with apps. Of course, BlackBerrys have apps too, but T-Mo needs to emphasize that Android is a real, Linux-kernel-based platform, not some hacked-together BlackBerry interface that was mutilated to accept apps. Whatever the iPhone can do, Android can too; it simply hasn’t, yet.
T-Mobile should also be emphasizing that even though the myTouch 3G may be a good phone, it’s the second of a whole litany of choices that are about to drop. Sure, maybe that’ll mean some customers hold out now, but getting them on the Android train long-term is a more important goal.
With the hardware maker (HTC) nowhere in this ad copy, the myTouch 3G feels a little like an off-brand iPhone imitator. It wouldn’t hurt to emphasize that this thing has plenty of speed and memory to go around, and it’s expandable to 32GB. People don’t just like apps; they love the iPhone because of the iPhone, the device itself.