In #5G Social Media Advertising, AT&T Goes Old While Verizon Goes Male

AT&T and Verizon are both increasingly pointing to their 5G efforts in their advertising, with the general message to consumers that they're on the cutting edge of technological innovation.

That's not a huge surprise considering that, according to new survey data from Counterpoint Research, close to 60% of US consumers are "very interested" or "extremely interested" in purchasing a 5G smartphone.

However, there are some noteworthy differences in exactly how Verizon and AT&T are taking their 5G message to consumers on social media. For example, AT&T's ads lean heavily toward older users, while Verizon's ads favor men over women.

Here's how the operators break down in their social media efforts, according to a 60-day (4/29/19 - 6/27/19) analysis by BrandTotal, which carefully tracks brands' social media activities:

Paid social media age range targeting:


Paid social media mix:


Paid social media demographics:


Campaign and response:

  • AT&T's ads focused on the dangers of texting while driving and on how its 5G technology will one day power autonomous vehicles. AT&T's 5G campaign generated 3.2 million Instagram video views, 20.6 million Facebook video views and 1,600 YouTube video views.
  • Verizon's ads focused on its 5G Ultra Wideband service and comparing its 5G innovation to other great innovations in history such as space travel. Verizon's 5G campaign generated 28.3 million Facebook video views, 34,900 Instagram video views, 730,600 YouTube video views, and 20,500 Twitter video views.

Why is this important?
According to numbers from advertising measurement company Zenith last year, Internet advertising has already surpassed TV as the world's primary advertising medium. And within Internet advertising, only search advertising is ahead of social. The firm estimated social media ad spending would rise 21% to $58 billion globally in 2018.

Meaning, how operators present themselves on social media, particularly in 5G, is an indication of where their priorities lie.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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