Or is it "smarter than me?" (Verizon FiOS would know, because it's so smart.) (Actually, according to Grammar Girl, it's both, but "I" is probably better.)
Anywho, here's why Verizon FiOS is so smart. It's currently locked in a grudge match with archrival Comcast over whose TV-and-internet package is better. Most of the commercials by both companies are nasty and forgettable. But the following commercial, which has been in heavy rotation on NESN (the network of the Red Sox), is inspired. Go ahead, it's only 32 seconds. I'll just stand here awkwardly:
... and we're back. Pretty good, huh? What I really like about the ad is that, unlike all the other commercials, it doesn't make subjective claims about being "better." Nor does it get into technobabble about how many more "Mbps" it can deliver. Instead, it focuses on a single, indisputable idea:
That cable was invented in 1948.
Implicit in that fact is that cable is somehow inferior to the modern technology of Verizon's "100 percent fiber optics." And that's a powerful message. (Full disclosure: I'm watching the Red Sox game and transmitting this post on my Verizon FiOS network, on which I'm getting a bitchin' 17 Mbps in download speed. But fear not, FTC: they ain't paying me to write this; I'm paying them.)
So how does that make Verizon smarter than I? Because I should have made this commercial years ago. But I would have changed some of the words. Like:
So why are you still using an antique law firm with an hourly billing model created in 1919 to for your 2010 business?
Then maybe something about hooking your business up to 100% fixed-price lawyering. I gotta work on the tagline.
Big shout out to VeraSage's Ron Baker, whose research uncovered the 1919 origin of law-firm timesheets. See my recent exchange with him on this example of antiquity.
This isn't the first post I've mined from a sporting-event commercial. See "What lawyers can learn from an Office Depot commercial" from this year's Super Bowl.
What do you think? Is this an effective message? Do I watch too much TV? Is it really "than I"? Sound off in the comments below.