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Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 09:30 am PT (12:30 pm ET)

Ad war propels Verizon, AT&T in young adult customer awareness

Both AT&T and Verizon have benefited from an ongoing advertising war between the two U.S. wireless providers, though a new study has found Verizon has seen greater gains.

A study released this week by YouGov's BrandIndex found that the advertisements, lawsuits and publicity surrounding AT&T and Verizon have propelled both companies to higher levels of awareness among adults aged 18 to 34. Both AT&T and Verizon began November with about 40 percent of young adults hearing something about their brand, with AT&T slightly ahead of its rival. But by early December, the companies' awareness levels had rocketed to above 50 percent.

Verizon saw the greatest gains, with 62.2 percent of adults 18 to 34 having heard something about the company. More than half of respondents — 54.5 percent — said the same about AT&T.

"They say a rising tide lifts all boats, but in the ad world, it works especially well when two rival wireless carriers launch blistering campaigns and file lawsuits," YouGov said in a press release. "According to consumer perception research company YouGov's BrandIndex, those ad dollars have fueled increasing young adult mindshare for both brands, with Verizon Wireless' awareness passing by AT&T the last week of November."

The study was pulled from a daily survey of over 5,000 people from a representative U.S. population sample. More than 1.2 million interviews are conducted per year from an online panel of over 1.5 million individuals. Margin of error is said to be +/- 2 percent.

YouGov


The same company found that Motorola had gained significant awareness from customers, pushing it past Apple, due to the hype of its new Droid handset.

The battle between Verizon and AT&T has been personal times, resulting in a lawsuit (that was later dropped) and featuring countless ads from both companies insulting the others' service and coverage. At one point Apple even indirectly entered the fray, touting the iPhone's ability to have simultaneous data and voice connections on the AT&T network — something that cannot be done with Verizon.