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Verizon Droid commercials advertise Android apps; other carriers should do the same [OPINION]

May 14, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

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Verizon Droid commercials advertise Android apps; other carriers should do the same [OPINION]

You know why the iPhone is so successful? Because aside from the benefits of hype surrounding any Apple product, the iPhone is advertised as a life enhancer. Commercials show the iPhone as a way to do cool things and solve everyday problems. To borrow from the familiar saying, it’s about the apps, stupid.

This is a lesson that most Android commercials have failed to learn. Aside from the highly-successful DROID DOES campaign, most commercials have failed to connect with users. Forgive me for using marketing clichés, but the Droid commercials have managed to engage users in a way that other Android campaigns have not.

Verizon has done a fairly good job of making people realize why they should have a high-powered phone. The latest ads to do that highlight Layar and RunStar. The commercials get straight to the pitch: you want something that’s more than a phone, and we’ve got a device that will help you manage your life.

A possible drawback to this strategy is that it could alienate some people who aren’t as impressed by these apps. Why would I buy a phone to pick out a place to eat if I already eat lunch at the same place 3 times a week or simply look for a Subway? Why would I care if RunStar can keep track of my running times if I already do that with a watch? I can respect that line of thinking, but I believe commercials like this will resonate with the right people and intrigue others enough to learn more about the phone.

Even if I don’t use Layar, knowing that a phone is capable of augmented reality will impress me enough to want to know more. Even if I use a sports watch to keep my run times, I may be impressed by the ability to set monthly goals, track progress in the app, see maps to maximize running routes, and share results with friends – all things that RunStar does that I probably don’t get in a watch.

The Droid marketing blitz makes commercials about what the phone can do. Not all carriers can afford to spend as much as Verizon, but this method of making the phone a priority is more effective than having a bunch of C-list celebrities stand in a line holding a phone. Let’s hope the success of the Droid leads more carriers to realize the best way to sell a phone is to make consumers aware of how they can use it.