Last week I was watching TV when one of the new AOL ads came on. I like this latest batch of AOL spots because of their casting and the way they project AOL as friendly caring company. I was sipping my coffee as the AOL spot came on and even though I had seen it many times over the past several weeks I still turned to watch it. In this spot, a young mother with baby in arms jumps on a boardroom table and tells all of the gathered AOL managers what she wants with her AOL service. But this time at the end of the ad she added that she wanted all this for $9.95 a month... to which a sardonic AOL manager replied "you'll have to go to Net Zero to get all that". I SPIT MY COFFEE half way across the room laughing in disbelief! Instead of it being an AOL ad it was Net Zero spoof! The Net Zero folks had knocked off the AOL spot perfectly. The surprise ending was masterfull. I loved it!

Net Zero's attack on AOL is a good example of a smaller challenger taking on the market leader. The Net Zero TV spots demonstrate an effective opening move by a challenger as they attempt to attack and dislodge the industry leader. It will be interesting to see what Net Zero's follow-on moves are. I do hope they have more arrows in their quiver besides a spoof and price cut.