Consumer Electronics

A Short Tale of Marketing Genius, Courtesy of T-Mobile


A Short Tale of Marketing Genius, Courtesy of T-Mobile

Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

T-Mobile has a new phone. It’s called the Prism 2. Oh, and it’s made by Huawei, a Chinese company that the U.S. and British governments are scared could be interested in Western markets in order to spy on people.

That’s pretty much all there is to say about this, although one does have to wonder what is happening in T-Mobile’s marketing department. It declined to comment. T-Mobile doesn’t break out its marketing budget, but it did spend $7 million more on marketing in 2012 than it did the year before. Still, the company has acknowledged that it is outgunned by its competitors and that marketing is not its strong point.

“Developing, promoting and maintaining our brand and brand awareness require consistent capital investment and expense and there can be no assurance that our investment in such or the promotion of our brand and brand awareness will be successful,” it wrote in a regulatory filing. (The company did not return a request for comment.)

Many of T-Mobile’s existing ads center on a fetching woman in a skintight outfit riding a motorcycle. That’s all well and good, but the Prism 2 probably requires a different approach. If the company is looking for a spokesperson for the phone, it should consider Edward Snowden. It seems like he might be available for cheap. But the company should first make sure the Prism can stand up to a few hours in a refrigerator.

Brustein is a writer for Businessweek.com in New York.

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