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November 09, 2009

Droid's Angry Red Eye � An Opportunity Lost?

Well, Sanjay Jha needed to deliver a home run with the Droid, and by all accounts he did. Unlike the past couple years, people are finally talking about Motorola (News - Alert) and they are talking about things other than what a fine phone the RAZR was or how the company is bleeding to death in a sea of red ink. Handset news and blog sites have been verging on “all android, all the time.”
Verizon (News - Alert) has come out with their first memorable ad in recent history (check it out) and finally there are people talking about Moto in something other than funereal tones.
That said, I can’t help but wonder if they haven’t blown it.
Yep, I get the feeling that they may have blown the launch and shot too low. Let me explain…

So, I get the angry red cybernetic eye. I like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, gadgets, widgets etc. I also get the stealth fighters and the missile bombardment stuff in the ad. I like bombs and explosions and things that go boom. I am a macho gadget fetish geek and I am their target demographic and they nailed it. My heart is filled with lust for the glowing red eye monster.
Problem is, the person in the next cube over, we’ll call her Sandy, isn’t. As a matter of fact, she is repulsed and turned off by the whole thing. Sandy understands technology and mobile in general better than many of the engineers who build it. She is clueful and “gets it”, but the ads with the “creepy red eye” and all the violence are for her a huge turn off. Personally I would love to see an ad where Kimbo Slice takes on the Get a Mac guy but there are a whole bunch of people who would not:
Early adopters, hardcore geeks and macho techno supremacists are of course interesting folks and they usually want smartphones. They want badass high spec smartphones and are willing to pay for them as well. But if we are really trying to do an iPhone (News - Alert) killer, they are not the target to shoot for.
The target that the iPhone has so successfully hit is broader - the intelligent person who perhaps didn’t realize that she really wanted a smartphone, but once she has tried an iPhone found herself hooked because suddenly the power of the Internet and a meaningful App Store was available in a pocket able form factor and it sure was cool. This is not the person who is going to be chasing after geek superiority looking after more CPU - this is the type of person who wants her technology to help her get things done and on this front they have missed the mark.
I guess Droids are from Mars and iPhones from Venus.
Now, how about that cute little green Android (News - Alert), where did he go?

Jason Lackey is marketing manager at Innopath Software.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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