Originally Posted by addabox
Right. The iPhone has no utility value, it's simply a vapid media star. People who buy an iPhone are acting on the same impulse that drives them to check up on the doings of Brad Pitt. I bet they don't even use it, they just stare at it. I think I'm starting to get why the Droid campaign works for you
Tell me where I said that the iPhone is just a vapid media star. It's because of its functionality that makes it such a star in the smartphone world. And yes, some people do in fact buy the iPhone just because of its status. Name me the last time a teenager asked their parents to buy an iPhone for them because they compared all the technical specs and structured out exactly how much it would cost over the 2 years of owning it. They ask for it because their friends have it and it's popular.
But let me ask you this. Do you not read the front page of this site (or any other Apple related website) for the latest blog on the happenings of the iPhone? Do you not cheer Apple when they do something to improve it? Do you not boo them a bit when gossip and speculation of additional features don't show up on the next version? The iPhone is a celebrity. Just in a completely different field.
It seems that you're kind of saying that functionality and celebrity status are mutally exclusive items. While in the case of people like Paris Hilton, that may hold true, they are the exception. The vast majority of human celebrities are celebrities because they have a function that they are good at that made them the focus. Unless you're telling me you block yourself off from all forms of TV, movie, audio, and video game entertainment...
I'm not sure what you mean by "effective" here, I have to assume it just means "makes you happy" or something, since you agree we can't really know what effect it will have on sales. That's not really what I'm talking about though-- it's more a matter of cultural esthetics, if you will, which while subjective are not without ramifications. An ad can be, in fact, "effective" while still being toxic.
By effective, I mean it comes from being out of the ordinary. The iPhone ads are generally all the same (well done, but all the same). It pretty much picks a choice apps and shows of their functionality. Their not really that attention grabbing to me anymore (personal opinion here). Whereas this Droid ad comes completely out of left field and grabs your attention.
And I agree with your point. It's those ramifications that this ad is playing on. It makes people go "they did not just do that!". This happens in our media culture all the time. TV shows and movies do it all the time (especially shows like SNL). Video games are full of it too (see the latest Modern Warfare 2 controversy). But you don't see that stopping their sales or causing a dramatic drop in viewers.
But none of those things are actually points of differentiation. The point of differentiation is what we're talking about.
Actually, you asked about what "strengths" the commercial says about the Droid, not differentiations. See your post. Your own words. Don't go moving the goal posts here because I answered your question. The ad specifically points out what I mentioned as strengths of the Droid.
No. The function of the ad is to imply that the iPhone is effeminate, possibly gay, delicate, and empty headed in the manner of a "beauty queen", while the Droid is a vaguely militaristic robot that is inclined to shoot the former.
And while I don't completely agree with that as the method of carrying the Droid, it does still say the Droid is an awesome phone. Could they have done it using one of Apple's non-gender ad templates? Sure.
I don't think that you think the iPhone is gay. But there's a lot of room between that and being kind of down with a certain drift. That's how a lot of stereotyping and prejudice works-- by insisting that everybody needs to get the joke or lighten up or whatever, while strenuously insisting that no real harm is intended. It's a kind of plausible deniability. I'm not talking about you, particularly, I'm talking about how this kind of thing works in the culture.
And both sides of the fence are guilty of doing that. Apple still stereotypes the PC user as nothing more than a bumbling businessman to this day, even though we all know that is not true at all. And this plausible deniability is what makes it so attractive for use in ads. Poke fun at the compitition without any real way for a legal backlash.
Stereotypes are funny to the people who hold them. They are rarely funny to the people being characterized. They are even less funny when the stereotype is based on hostilities that have nothing to do with those being stereotyped and everything to do with those that hold them. Ask the next African American you meet if they're amused by the idea that blacks are oversexed and stupid.
Having said that, "iPhone users" aren't remotely an identifiable group, beyond shared ownership of a product, and the fact that you think that they somehow are, and that this group has brought some kind of negative characterization upon themselves frankly says more about you then the disparate folks who happen to own a particular cell phone.
I'll have to disagree with the "rarely funny" part. I think that stereotypes have gotten to a point where some cultures do laugh at their own stereotypes. Especially in the Generation X and younger crowd. Africans have embraced the stereotype that they are well hung or constantly want chicken. They make fun of each other over it. Being Asian, I constantly joke about the whole "loves rice" or "must be a straight-A student", even though I find rice to be nothing special nor was I ever a straight-A student in my life.
And I still agree that they aren't clearly an identifiable group. Just out of my personal experience, this "beauty queen", "princess" group does still exist. Are they representative of all iPhone owners? No.
Don't tell me that there aren't Apple product owners that will go out of their way to rub their product in the faces of others. The ones that go "hey look what my [insert Apple product] can do! Bet yours can't!" Those are the ones that caused the negative characterizations of what the general population thinks are of all Apple users. If you ask most people about a negative Apple-owner characterization, you'll probably find "smug" to be a common. As mis-applied as it is, it's still out there.
It's a very specific image: a male mannequin dressed effeminately, with one hand on an outthrust hip, shot with paintballs. It's pretty clearly a "safe" stand in for fag bashing. I think that's pretty fucked up, for about 400 different reasons. The fact that the iPhone is even in the picture is the least of them.
Worded this way, I can agree with you and see what you mean. Just saying it's "creepy" was open to a bit of speculation to what you meant. The ad could have done without this 2 second clip. But saying that it's a blank check to go out and bash on gays in general is a bit reaching, in my opinion. I'd be highly surprised to see something in the news where a gay person had balls of paint thrown at them just because the Motorola ad did it.
I don't think "irony" means what you think it means. At any rate, of course it's "just an ad", that doesn't magically preclude the ad from having objectionable content or using objectionable strategy.
By irony I meant that you used the same objectable labeling of a Droid owner that you're objecting to the Droid commercial using to label the iPhone.
And I never said it "magically" precludes this ad. My point was that I'm willing to give the majority of Americans the benefit of the doubt that they'll shave enough common sense to see this as just an ad and not as a blank check saying it's fine to go out throwing balls of paint at gay people.
I seriously think that you and I have digressed way beyond our original discussion. It turned from single sentence posts to massive point-by-point posts. You have objections over the content of the ad and don't like it. I get that. I find it funny because of the whole shock value of that content. If you think that makes me or people who chuckle at the ad a less cultured than you, then so be it.
No amount of forum posts are ever going to change that.