AT&T, Verizon both gained from 3G ad war

AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) appear to have both benefitted from the recent internecine ad campaign in which the two bickered over whose 3G wireless coverage was superior — though Verizon may have gained more than its rival.

According to a survey released today by YouGov Brand Index, Verizon Wireless’ brand awareness among adults 18 to 34 shot from 37.1% in early November to 62.2% in early December. AT&T’s awareness in the same group rose from 41.2% to 54.5% in that time. Toward the end of November, as the holiday shopping season kicked into full swing, Verizon Wireless had surpassed AT&T in terms of awareness.

That mutual benefit is fortunate for the two companies, since the war brought attention to weaknesses in both of their offerings and underscored the limits of today’s 3G networks. But it also may encourage the two to try to repeat the phenomenon. We haven’t seen the last of Luke Wilson.

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