AD Attack

November 15, 2009

‘AD Attack’: How easily are today’s consumers being persuaded by the advertisements they see in the media? Competing companies within a specific market such as phone service providers often use commercial advertising as a way to sway consumers’ opinions about their competitor’s products.  Recently, Verizon Wireless has used commercial advertisements as a platform for a public attack of the products and services provided by AT&T. These current ‘Ad Attacks’ are proving to be causing damage to the profits of the company being targeted.

Verizon Wireless has attacked AT&T through their ad campaign for their new Google Android smartphone. These advertisements make direct comparisons between the Droid and the Apple iPhone which is exclusively carried by AT&T. One of these commercials lists negative statements about the iPhone using the phrase “iDont” in order to make it clear they are targeting the product without mentioning its name. The tagline “Everything iDon’t…Droid does” is used to persuade one to believe that Verizon’s  product is superior to the one provided by AT&T. Verizon’s most recent commercial consists of an animated version of an iPhone being placed on “the island of misfit toys” in reference to the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special. The purpose of these ads is to convince consumers that Verizon Wireless has more 3G coverage than AT&T and to suggest that the new Android will eliminate the demand for the iPhone.

AT&T’s exclusive contract with the Apple iPhone has placed the success of the company far beyond that of Verizon, but as a result of advertising attacks against the iPhone, buyer intentions are trending back into Verizon’s favor.

vielkind The event that would spark 24-year-old Jimmy Veilkind’s undying passion for reporting took place during the summer that followed his high       school graduation in 2003. He landed a job as a reporter in Glens Falls, NY for a small newspaper called the Glens Falls Chronicle making $8 an hour.

Veilkind was the least bit excited about his first major assignment; to report on the grand opening of a roller coaster at a Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, NY. He was among the first group of riders to try the new coaster…and  it obviously gets stuck at the very top. So he’s sitting hundreds of feet in the air on the first run of this roller coaster sitting behind a grown man who is completely hysterical. As it turns out, this man was a Times Union newspaper reporter named Dennis Yusco who would be a colleague of Veilkind’s  years later. After they were finally helped down, Veilkind was given the chance to speak with the president of the amusement park about the incident. He took this opportunity to ask the guy what the HELL he was thinking when he allowed customers to ride the coaster without testing it first. Hmm, good question.

So after being a part of this roller coaster disaster, yelling at the park’s president, and writing all about it for the newspaper, Veilkind recalls thinking, “this is the most fun job in the world!”.

Veilkind went on to major in Urban Studies at Columbia University where he earned his undergraduate degree in 2007. Although he did not major in Journalism, he spent time writing columns and editing for his university’s newspaper, The Columbia Daily Spectator. He strongly advises current  college journalism students to write for their school paper. After graduating, he chose  to work towards a career in journalism.

In July of 2008, he was hired as a reporter at the Times Union newspaper in Albany, NY. He soon left in October of 2008 to join The New York Observer, a newspaper based in New York City. His reason for making the switch was being given the opportunity to write about politics– a topic that always excited him. “Being at the vanguard of internet politics was very appealing,” Veilkind says. He has now been a working reporter at The Observer for one year, one week, and two days in an office located in the New York capital of Albany writing weekly narrative stories about New York State politics. This position has also given him the opportunity to write numerous posts each day for The Observer’s ‘PolitickerNY’ blog (www.observer.com/politics). That’s pretty impressive considering that in 2004, the ‘PolitickerNY’ was the first blog to create a forum of discussion about New York State politics. At this point in his career, Veilkind has the skills to interview, write articles, draft his own headlines, shoot video and photos, and embed sound clips and links into blog posts. Veilkind discusses that these are the necessary skills that every journalist must have in today’s industry. Although he has not taken any courses to master his various skills, he feels that all  journalism students would be well served by taking classes in web development, video editing, and photography in order to compete for positions in today’s stuggling job market.

Having the privilege to work for such a major publication does not seem to allow this young reporter too much free time. Veilkind works about 45-50 hours per week and admits that he sometimes has to be prepared for 20 hour work days. Ouch! Somehow, he still finds the time to enjoy hiking, running, reading, and going out with friends.

For the most part, Veilkind loves his job. He enjoys the setting of his workplace and that he is surrounded by his colleagues while being many miles away from his boss who is stationed in New York City. He takes pleasure in writing for The Observer describing it as a newspaper that allows “objectivity with sensibility”. This means that they allow for their reporter’s voice to come through in their writing. He has also come to value the purpose he serves as a journalist in being able to present politics for what it really is and being able to help New York citizens choose their vote in elections and that he is allowed the opportunity to present a political situation exactly as it is without being censored.

But he doesn’t love it all. Veilkind explained that most if not all people that he comes across in politics are fakers with a “put-on” persona. “I miss people who are people. Who have actual lives that they will share with you,” he says. He also feels that he is at a disadvantage being the youngest reporter in his workplaces because as compared to his older colleagues, he does not have a large context of experience within the journalism field. On the other hand, he admits he has learned most of what he knows from the veteran journalists he works with. “I get older everyday,” he says.

For his future, Veilkind plans on continuing a career in journalism. In the next 30 years he  hopes to be able to write his own general interest column  as he admires the work of New York columnists such as Mike Daly (http://www.brooklynron.com/mike-daly/) and Fred LeBrun at the Times Union. No matter where or who Veilkind is writing for 30 years from now, he is sure he will be doing just that. “I’m gonna be a writer until I die,” he says.