It sure must be nice to be an ad-exec. While the days of chugging Scotch during lunch a’la Mad Men may be a thing of the past, creating non-sensical and tangential commercials will never go out of style. Case in point, the most recent commercial for the Motorola Droid which tries to stick it to the iPhone by calling it “pretty” and a “tiara wearing, digitally clueless, beauty pageant queen.” Hmm, okay.
The ad is obviously geared towards men, and while the visuals are certainly fast-paced and eye catching, I somehow doubt that it’s really going to make any guys second guess their choice of smartphone.
The irony here, though, is that the Droid commercial visually encapsulates a certain “guyish” style, what with its quick cutaways, adrenaline infused action shots, and references to Scud Missiles and powerful saws. The narrative message however is that you should stay away from the iPhone because it’s all about style and lacks any sort of depth – much like a beauty queen drenched in makeup.
So at the same time we’re being warned about the style heavy iPhone, we’re being sold on a completely different kind of style that’s just as vapid and as much about hype as anything else. “It’s not a princess, it’s a robot.”
And for that reason, the commercial fails because, like so many iPod and iPhone killers of the past, it’s trying to take down Apple by appealing to a sense of style as opposed to substance. Apple’s success is rooted in creating easy to use and powerful products, not slick fly by night advertising. By focusing on style issues like being a pretty princess, the Droid commercial completely misses the point and fails to take into account the very reasons why people gravitate towards Apple products in the first place.