Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Is the New Droid Ad Anti-Women and Anti-Gay or Just Plain Idiotic? Actually, All Three!

droid2

What in the world can one make of the new ad for the Droid, the Motorola (MOT) smartphone with Google (GOOG) Android software on the Verizon Wireless (VZ) network, which apparently put out this commercial?

Here’s what: It aggressively calls the Apple (AAPL) iPhone a dumb blonde and then a prissy dude in need of a beatdown.

Let’s put it this way: The 30-second clip makes Glenn Beck look like Gloria Steinem and Adam Lambert combined!

Earlier advertising for the Droid has been clearly aimed at the he-man demographic, with a beer-commercial tone and a growly-voiced announcer.

So what? That’s marketing 101. But this one–titled “Pretty”–goes entirely too far.

“Should a phone be pretty?” it begins, using an odd series of images that is packed full of random misogyny. “Should it be a tiara-wearing, digitally clueless beauty pageant queen?”

Then comes all the manly imagery–a racehorse, a powerfully pointed Scud missile, bananas and buzzsaws to represent the Droid. A surging missile, as well as several creamy explosions too. Get it?

And let’s not forget the bunch of fey, effeminately-dressed mannequins, with one getting bashed with an ink-filled ball thrown by some tough masked thug with the line, “Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone?”

Then back to anti-women name-calling, saying an iPhone is a “princess,” unlike the Droid, “a phone that trades hair-do for can-do.”

It is true that sometime a phone ad is just a phone ad–but, in this case, sometimes it’s just appalling. It would be funny, if it weren’t so mean-spirited.

But, please, you be the judge of the video of the television commercial, which is on Verizon Wireless’ YouTube site:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald