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Verizon's advertising propels brand perception while AT&T sinks

Verizon and Motorola's strong marketing push leading up to the launch of the new Droid handset had a significant impact on brand perception in the 18- to 34-year-old target demographic, pushing it well above AT&T, according to a study released Monday.

Daily tracking from YouGov's BrandIndex shows that scores associated with the Verizon Wireless brand have soared since the Droid advertising campaign launched on Oct. 18, up until the launch of the Droid last Friday. Verizon's score went from 8.3 to 24.2 on the study's scale, which ranges from -100 to 100.

During the same frame, AT&T's brand perception dropped, from 1.4 on Oct. 18 to -2.4 by Nov. 6. The ongoing study surveys 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. More than 1.2 million people are interviewed each year, and the research is said to have a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.

Respondents in the target 18- to 34-year-old demographic were asked the question, "Would you recommend the brand to a friend?" While AT&T and Verizon were comparable in the latter half of October, Verizon pulled well ahead of the second-largest wireless carrier come November, leading up to the debut of the Motorola Droid.

The latest study follows a tough summer for AT&T, when overall consumer perception dropped significantly following the launch of the iPhone 3GS. That change was likely at least partially attributed, BrandIndex said, to AT&T's inability to meet bandwidth needs on its network following the launch of Apple's latest handset.

The Droid launched Friday to positive reviews. Building up to its release, a series of advertisements targeted Apple's iPhone, making claims of shortcomings with the tagline "iDon't."

In addition, Verizon has stepped up its advertising against the AT&T network, lampooning the iPhone "There's an app for that" phrase with the slogan "There's a map for that." Last week, AT&T filed a lawsuit over the advertisements, claiming that Verizon is misrepresenting its coverage areas and misleading consumers.