Motorola: Don't Be Compulsive About Your Phone Use

Motorola is out with a new campaign it’s calling Phone-Life Balance.

That’s right, the inventor of the mobile phone now worries that people are being a bit too compulsive about their phone habits.

There’s a bit of irony there. Makes me think of Amazon’s recent move to open brick-and-mortar bookstores in a number of markets after single-handedly decimating the physical book store industry.

The Motorola campaign is multifaceted and includes a clever new video from Ogilvy called “Hello, Vacation,” that depicts some rather sad behavior on the part of real vacationers—glued to their phones instead of taking in the wonders of the world, like the pyramids in Egypt, the Eiffel Tower and Old Faithful.

The spot ends with this message: “connected? or disconnected? next vacation try a little phone-life balance.”

Another Ogilvy spot will be released soon.



As part of its broader phone-life balance effort, Motorola developed a global study of phone use behaviors in partnership with Harvard’s Dr. Nancy Etcoff, a psychologist and expert in mind-brain behavior and the science of happiness.

The study produced this startling and somewhat sad statistic: 53% of Gen Z respondents described their phone as a best friend. Reminds me a bit of the movie “HER,” about a guy (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the voice of his computer’s operating system.

One-third of respondents prioritize their smartphone over engaging with people they care about and want to spend time with.  Not that much time, I guess.

In addition to the Ogilvy spots, Motorola has taken other steps to promote phone-life balance, including an online quiz consisting of 10 questions to better understand your relationship with your phone. You can take the quiz at

Also, Motorola is working with the SPACE Phone-Life Balance App, which offers a 60-day program to help smartphone users become more mindful of their phone usage.

There’s other stuff, but I think you get the general idea.

We all know how awesome smartphones can be. But if you’re focused on it while touring the pyramids or some other amazing site, you probably need help.  


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