Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Ad wars: Droid manly; iPhone girly

December 4, 2009: 8:32 AM ET

Motorola targets young men with its most testosterone-heavy TV commercial yet

Screen shot from Droid ad. Image: Motorola

Someone had fun writing this ad copy:

Droid. Should a phone be pretty? Should it be a tiara-wearing digitally clueless beauty pageant queen? Or should it be fast? Racehorse duct-taped to a Scud missile fast. We say the latter. So we built the phone that does. Does rip through the Web like a circular saw through a ripe banana. Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone? In truth? No. It's not a princess. It's a robot. A phone that trades hair-do for can-do.

The new Droid commercial that debuted in prime-time Thursday night (and is pasted below the fold) opened a new front in Motorola (MOT) and Verizon's (VZ) $100 million ad campaign to take market share from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone

Earlier commercials had appealed to the fragile male ego with icons of masculinity: stealth bombers, heavyweight fighters, rock-crushing machinery.

This one goes after the competition by painting it -- and its users -- as effeminate.

Source: YouGov's BrandIndex surveys. Margin of error: +/- 2%

It's a strategy as old as the schoolyard, and it seems to be working -- at least on one side of the yard. A new YouGov BrandIndex survey taken Thursday shows Motorola's buzz rising relative to Apple's and Research in Motion's (RIMM) among men 18 and older. And the company seems to be on track in its stated goal of selling 1 million Droids by New Years.

It remains to be seen whether it has burned its bridges to the other half of the market in the process.

Below: The latest ad.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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