Commentary

Motorola Wins Mobile Ad Super Bowl

Motorola Super Bowl ad spot/Megan Fox

 

Motorola's Droid got a big boost from the reportedly $100 million anti-iPhone campaign Verizon Wireless put behind the manufacturer's comeback device.

With its Megan Fox-starring commercial, Motorola jumped back into the Super Bowl ad fray for the first time in four years to push its proprietary Motoblur software for centralizing social networking data and sending out messages and content. The ad also debuted as Motorola gets set to launch the Devour, its follow-up to the Droid, next month.

The spot from New York's Anomoly, if you haven't already seen it, showed Fox in a bubble bath wondering what might happen if she used Motoblur to send out a picture of herself. Cue a series of vignettes: power lines explode as a lineman ogles the photo on his cell phone, a mother bangs vainly on the door of her teen son's bedroom, a wife slaps her husband, a gay couple slap each other, and a guy fixing a gutter falls of a ladder as his buddy stands transfixed by his phone.

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It's quick, clever and free of the bombast and hit-you-over-the-head obvious humor that characterizes most other Super Bowl spots. Of course, no one cares what Motoblur is, but if the ad can help generate buzz around the Devour and forthcoming Motorola phones, then it's done its job.

The same can't be said for Qualcomm's FLO TV's Super Bowl ad, which trotted out the tired concept of a guy being emasculated by having to go shopping with his girlfriend. Hasn't Bud Light already done this? The upshot is the poor sap could've avoided humiliation if he had brought a FLO TV handheld gadget to watch the football game he's missing. For a new device and mobile TV service, how about fresh ad creative?

A second spot, featuring CBS Sports' James Brown and promoting FLO TV for in-vehicle use, is more self-mocking and works better. Boost Mobile was the other big mobile advertiser on Sunday, tapping a nostalgic vein by bringing back members of the 1985 champion Chicago Bears team to reprise their goofy "Super Bowl Shuffle" as the "Boost Mobile Shuffle." Anyone who remembers the Bears' rap might have been amused to see QB Jim McMahon roll out in a rascal scooter and get a spray-paint tan.

But if Boost phones are aimed at young-skewing users who may not have even been born in 1985, why did it go with the retro approach? The fact is, Boost is hardly mentioned in the ad created by agency 180 in Los Angeles, at all. So it's unlikely anyone will connect the commercial with the brand--not much of a boost there

1 comment about "Motorola Wins Mobile Ad Super Bowl".
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  1. Kirsten Mcmullen from 4INFO, February 8, 2010 at 5:03 p.m.

    Shortly after the Motorola ad aired, I received a text message from short code 24421 with an ad for MOTOBLUR. As much as I appreciated the targeted timing of the ad, I can't figure out how I opted-in to get it (or if I did). If anybody knows anything about this short code and how they obtained opt-in, I'd love to know! The HELP response took me to Taco Bell rules, so I was officially confused.

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