I saw a commercial on television yesterday that made my point from my prior post even stronger. In this commercial, an AT&T Business Solutions saleswoman goes head to head with four smart and capable business women who are accompanied by their male counterpart who is portrayed as a spineless doofus not even sure how to conduct himself in public without looking first to the ladies for guidance. This is how the advertising executives at AT&T have chosen to portray men. Read to the end, then click on the screen shot above, or here, watch the video and see what you think.
Right now, our numbers are small, the revival is just beginning … but someday, and this is why I am so committed to this, we will be in a position to rally and react to these negative portrayals. Someday … there will be enough of us to make a difference.
For now, how many of us, I wonder, have influence over mobile spending in our own families and businesses. How many of us are strong, wise, and capable businessmen who look nothing like the weak doofusman AT&T has portrayed here? I, for one, am and do! In fact, one company I sold to another company had an AT&T account and the new parent company has Sprint. I’ve been pushing back on the migration of the AT&T lines to Sprint for almost a year now, but somehow I think I’ll go ahead and fast forward that starting Monday. My plan, prior to seeing this commercial, was to request that the new parent company have a competitive look at AT&T versus Sprint with a hope that both companies would consolidate on AT&T. That won’t be happening now. Also, I happen to be in a position to coach and advise entrepreneurs as they launch new tech businesses in my town. Let’s just say that AT&T will be the last choice for any recommendations I make as I work with the tech leaders of tomorrow in the setting up of their companies. Lastly, a link to this blog will be sent to AT&T corporate PR for blogger relations (the email is firstname.lastname@example.org in case you want to join me) as well as the local AT&T rep who will be losing the business.
Realistically, right now, we are just a few hundred in numbers and this won’t make much of a difference. My actions will cost AT&T just a few thousand dollars a month … trust me, they won’t even notice. But humor me for a moment, while I dream of the day when there is ten-thousand of us and we collectively rally against companies who portray us this way. Humor me, or dare to dream with me, about a day when some executive at some company says, “guys, pull that ad … we starting to get e-mails from those crazy guys again.” Dare to just dream with me, or better yet, join with me. Send an e-mail to as many like minded friends as you can think of, forward this post, and ask them to follow the blog and join with us.