Why advertise when your competitors do it for you?

SanDisk is trying to chip away at Apple’s hip customer base with its “iDon’t” campaign. Drawing creatively from Apple’s original iPod ads, the iDon’t campaign features ads attacking the iPod’s image (see photo).

But however much these ads end up boosting sales of its competing Sansa music player, SanDisk appears to be a victim of the law of unintended consequences. The ads continue to create even more buzz for Apple despite the negative overtone!

And there’s even more chatter in the land of earbuds. Microsoft is reportedly readying an “iPod killer” that matches Redmond’s sleek gadget with its own integrated music service.
Another challenge is the Gremlin MG-1000, a gizmo equipped with Wi-Fi so that it connects wirelessly to the content store of device maker MusicGremlin. That’s a trick Apple’s iPods and Motorola’s iTunes-equipped phones haven’t mastered.

And while competitors continue trying to replicate the iPod’s magic, government agencies and music associations have hinted they may work to enact laws requiring iTunes compatibility with all players.

Apple is clearly the standard here. As such, it should consider heeding the golden rule of standards today: The more open standards are, the more valuable they become! So opening the iTunes platform to all new MP3 players might actually be a smart move for Apple. They have the market mover advantage, the product with the most Buzz, and a significant advantage in branding and mind share – especially when you have competitors paying for all your advertising!

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