The View, The Lakers, and The Motorcyclist — The Start of a Bad Joke"¦or the T-Mobile MyTouch Spokespeople?

Actress Whoopi Goldberg, LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson, and motorcycle guru/TV personality Jesse James: who would have thought anything could bring such different and bold personalities together in one TV commercial. T-Mobile did just that with the launch of its T-Mobile MyTouch campaign, focusing on how the MyTouch can be customized for any individual or personality. The T-Mobile My Touch is the second Google Android phone T-Mobile has launched; this device is the sequel to its original Android release, the T-Mobile G1.

Like the G1 launch, T-Mobile gave favor to existing Customers with its MyTouch launch. On July 8th T-Mobile released the MyTouch to existing Customers, but it wasn’t until August 5th that the MyTouch was released to everyone. This differed from the G1 launch in that Customers were not simply pre- registering (paying for the phone, but receiving it on the day it was made available to everyone), but truly ordering the phone (paying for it and receiving it immediately). So how did interest in the MyTouch launch fare compared to interest in the G1 around its launch?

  • T-Mobile drove nearly all traffic from on site ads and banner ads to the microsites around the time of launch. saw 1.15M visitors in October 2008 (launch month). saw 531K visitors in July (Customer launch month) and 544K visitors in August 2009 (general population launch month). Though the spike seen the week of the G1 launch was certainly influenced by a G1 link being displayed on the homepage, it’s clear overall interest in the MyTouch around launch generally paled in comparison to interest in the G1 around launch
  • Traffic to was highest after the release of the celebrity filled television commercial, indicating T-Mobile held off on a media blitz around the MyTouch until after it was released
  • Though interest in the MyTouch is less than the G1, it has attracted more consistent interest. Even at 7 weeks post launch, interest in the MyTouch has not fallen off from prelaunch interest, while interest in the G1 had fallen off sharply from levels seen prior to launch

Interest, of course, is only half the story. To truly understand how the MyTouch launch fared against the G1 launch, we’d have to look at the impact on Upgrades and Gross Add Orders around the time of the launches.

These charts are looking at the volume of Customer Gross Add Orders (Those adding a line to their account), Prospect Gross Add Orders (Shoppers purchasing a phone and plan), and Upgrades (Existing Customers purchasing a new phone for an existing line of service) for the months surrounding each device’s launch. Compete was able to attribute many of the increases seen in the charts to the phone launches as orders typically increased dramatically beginning the day of each launch (including the Customer specific MyTouch launch in July)

  • Though the MyTouch was released to all shoppers in August, Customers were able upgrade to the MyTouch in July — driving the increase in Upgrades
  • Though interest in the MyTouch around launch time was significantly less than interest in the G1 around its launch, the effect on sales appears similar. Order volumes were higher with the G1 launch, but T-Mobile experienced a 103% increase in upgrades in July 2009 compared to a 20% increase in upgrades in October 2008. This not only indicates a larger impact on Upgrades with the MyTouch launch (as compared to the G1 launch), but also points to the success of T-Mobile’s "Customer First" approach. Not only did both T-Mobile launches lead to increases in Upgrades, but the MyTouch launch also likely drove increases in Customer satisfaction as Customers enjoyed a period of exclusivity
  • The G1 launch definitely appears to have had a larger impact on Prospect Gross Add orders than the MyTouch launch, likely due to less offline fanfare than was seen with the G1

One thing that we haven’t discussed in detail is the fundamental differences between the two launches. The media blitz around the G1, prior to launch, was intense as Google was also pushing its first Android device. Beyond local market campaigns (skydivers in SF for example), publicity around the MyTouch prior to launch was concentrated online. As seen in the first chart, it wasn’t until after the launch that Whoopi Goldberg, Phil Jackson, and Jesse James came together for the commercial. This is a different approach than we’ve seen in the past from Carrier’s launching marquee devices, and it will be very interesting to see if this strategy leads to sustained interest and sales in the MyTouch into the holiday season.

About BeckyBitzenhofer:
Becky Bitzenhofer is a Senior Associate at Compete. Becky spends her time at Compete managing a data team and delivering competitive analysis to wireless clients. Before Becky joined the Compete team she was a student at the University of Vermont. Becky hopes to continue to use and improve her analysis skills, and develop new and better ways use data to improve website performance. You can find and follow Becky on Twitter under the name Beckybitz.