Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Palm Pre Commercial Keeps Mirroring the Ladies

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At the seventh D: All Things Digital conference in May, in an onstage interview, Palm’s major investor, Roger McNamee, and I got into a minor tussle over the mirror on the back of the just-launched Pre smartphone and his assertion that the ladies in particular would love it.

Take that, reflectively-challenged Apple (AAPL) iPhone!

Here is a picture of McNamee at D7, talking about the mirror, and here’s the partial transcript of the exchange:

MR. MCNAMEE: It has a mirror on the back. Remember, there has never been a smart phone designed for the needs of women before.

MS. SWISHER: Wait, wait. Women need mirrors more than, say, you?

MR. MCNAMEE: No, I am saying if you have the opportunity to stick a mirror on here, why wouldn’t you do it? If you are making it for 25- to 40-year-old nerds, you would have put a black thing back here. But we are sitting here going, “Look, it costs nothing. Why don’t we do it because you know what, people actually do need mirrors from time to time.”

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Later, I joked, “Nice, Roger. Perhaps someday it will include a blow dryer as well,” and McNamee tried mightily to poll the crowd to see if I was being too politically correct for questioning his–oh, that crazy Roger!–borderline kooky mirror-as-innovation theory.

All in good fun!

In any case, Palm (PALM) is certainly not backing away from the female demographic with its latest television commercial, which features an unusually pale woman with a sing-song and vaguely creepy voice.

Rather than hawking a Silicon Valley nifty gadget, it feels more like a perfume advertisement or one for a new shampoo that promises lustrous locks.

All the better to look good in a mirror, presumably.

Here’s the new commercial, as well as a similar one from June, which feels like an ad for yoga clothes (and below it is a video of the full interview–including the mirror debate–with McNamee and also Palm Chairman and CEO Jon Rubinstein):


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