Wireless Companies Launch Direct Mail Assault

In a back-and-forth reminiscent of the Coke-Pepsi wars of the 1980's, Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless are trading direct mail blows with separate pieces targeting Hispanics. Both pieces use offers of free phones to lure the consumer.

The bilingual Cingular piece was sent out in late March and received on April 1st. The piece arrived in package format and measured 6.00” by 9.00.” The creative offers two free phones and free delivery, and while the terms cite a $36.00 activation fee, they do not specify the price of service. The consumer is directed to call an 800 number to order.

The Verizon piece is also bilingual and was sent out in late May, arriving on June 2nd. The format was self mailer, measuring 6.00” x 11.00.” The creative offers up to three free camera phones. The price of the offer is $69.99 per month with 700 anytime minutes. The cost for third and additional lines is $9.99 per month. The consumer is directed to call an 800 number to order.

While both pieces are bilingual, the Verizon piece seems to emphasize the Spanish a bit more, placing it above the English text and giving it more space. The Cingular piece treats both languages equally with a straight back/front translation.

While the Verizon piece focused more on the New York Metro area, the Cingular piece targeted Midwestern Hispanics in Minneapolis, Minnesota.