vonage

Adweek reports that Vonage, our fave broadband telephone company, is looking to blow $50 to $75 million on an advertising campaing. Normally, we wouldn't comment on the billions companies spend on technology advertising, but a lot of money gets wasted on ads that not only don't help sell things, but often just confuse people even more (see TiVo's early advertising). 

That's why with a company like Vonage, where it's a new convergence technology that's already kind of difficult for most people to get, you gotta wonder whether a massive branding campaign is the way to go. The early adopters have all signed up, but there are still a lot of tech savvy consumers out there who haven't tried it yet. They already have to have broadband, aren't afraid of technology, and if they had a chance to see how it worked would likely be ready and willing to ditch their land line. The problem is that a 30-spot on network TV or a full page add in the New Yorker isn't going to do the trick here. 

So why not take $2 million of the budget (a tiny percent of the total) and send out those analog telephone adapter units with one year of service to people at tech sites and blogs all across the country (we're already paying subscribers, so we're not recommending this to score free service)? They all have broadband and they all love to talk. A lot. They'll help educate folks on what VoIP is better than any ad, and advertise Vonage free because, well, it's great. How's that sound?