Thought Leadership

Droids dropping like bombs

By Colin Walls

As I am off on a week’s vacation in the sun, I thought it would be interesting to ask a couple of friends/colleagues write some blogs. First up, we have Scott Salzwedel, who is looking at a topic close to my heart. -Colin

Have you seen the latest Droid TV spot? It’s pretty awesome. The commercial opens with some stealth jets flying in formation and then bombs away – these pods are jettisoned to unsuspecting earthlings below. The music. The cinematography. The overall feel of this spot is top notch. You’re left wanting more. And scratching your head a bit.

This is the second spot based on the new Motorola Android (Droid) phone. Remember the first spot? It was an even bigger tease and it attacked the Apple iPhone head-on…

I love how we’re beginning to see a new ad war around today’s ultra-smart phones. Remember the cola wars? As was the case then, the stakes are high to claim the number one position in the consumer’s mind. Today Apple, Blackberry, Palm, and now Android, are all vying for that highly coveted spot. Let the chips fall were they may.

Can you recall the first Droid spot? It opens on a white background with happy, flowery music – much like the music you’d hear in an Apple spot. We see type in the same Apple font appearing and disappearing quickly with such phrases as “iDon’t customize,” “iDon’t have interchangeable batteries,” and so on. And then finally we see “Everything iDon’t…” and abruptly, the Apple-esqe happiness gets zapped by this frantic, frenzied typeface bold and mesmerizing, accompanied by this ominous music with the payoff “DROID DOES.” Brilliant! A powerful juxtaposition.

Here’s the thing though. Android is big news among the development community for so many reasons. But does the average TV viewer really care that Apple doesn’t allow open development? You have to admit, it’s a good move on Motorola’s part to brand the phone Droid. Again, we know the significance of Droid, but to the casual user in Peoria, Droid just as well could be named Dorito.

While the droid spot casts a long net, trying to lure disaffected Apple users, the Palm Pre takes a different approach. Palm’s first spot featured a 30-ish woman (target audience) in this lush, green meadow with orange-colored dancers moving about. These dancers moved in unison with the voice over. What’s nice about this spot is that it’s clean, simple, elegant – much how I would imagine Palm wants you to feel about its Pre.

Currently, the iPhone spots are of the “we got an app for that” mentality. The one thing you can say about Apple is the company knows its audience. They’re masters at reinforcing product core values to current customers while attracting new prospects at the same time.

The last contender is Blackberry. And here’s where it goes wrong. Bono is hawking the latest Blackberry. And I thought Bono was an Apple guy. Do the demographics of a typical Blackberry user map out to Bono? Oh, I get it. Bono is cool, a global good Samaritan. So if he’s supporting Blackberry that means … oh give me a break. And here’s where it gets really strange. Bono is the managing director and founding partner of an investment firm that has a stake in… Wait… Wait for it… Palm!

So sit back and enjoy the ride. The smart phone wars are upon us. What’s really amazing is we have yet to receive word from the largest player of all, Nokia and its Symbian OS platform. Could they be the next to one-up Android? Oh, this is going to be good.

ScottAuthor’s Bio: Scott Salzwedel is a Technical Content Manager/Writer in corporate marketing at Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville, OR. He has been at Mentor for the past five years. Prior to Mentor, Scott worked at another EDA company we shall not mention here. Scott began his writing career as an advertising copywriter in Chicago and to this day continues to watch TV commercials with unabashed enthusiasm.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at