Verizon Commercial Symbolizes DROID is for Guys Who Wannabe Porn Stars, iPhones are Demeaned Beauty Queens?

So, according to Verizon, the Motorola DROID is for wannabe male porn stars and the iPhone is for the beauty queens they demean?

Okay, I love iPhones and this is an iPhone enthusiast site, fair enough. But I have to admit that when Jeremy first posted the above video a few days ago, my initial reaction was simply that Verizon was taking a shot at the iPhone and going after the young male demographic again. Hey, the Lucas-licensed DROID name makes that clear enough, and obviously Motorola's brand spike shows it's working.

Getting together with my fellow SPE editors this weekend, however, Dieter made me watch it again, and pay attention to imagery and metaphors.

And oh, those metaphors: we get the race horses, Skud missile, iPhones reduced to puddles, shears tearing gashes, saws ripping through ripe bananas, and a multitude of splatter effects on mannequins/dolls and, frankly, the screen in our face.

The iPhone is marketed to appeal to the mainstream, from kids to grandparents, both men and women, for getting things done and for having fun. Spending some time with Casey's Android Central DROID this weekend, I'm curious to see if it can't be just as mainstream in its appeal, and if not, if Verizon really feels they have to counter-program the iPhone this forcefully, why they'd want to go in such a misogynistic direction?

UPDATED: Hey, looks like All Things Digital decodes it the same way...

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 39 comments. Add yours.

r0cketman22 says:

Although I don't necessarily agree.. this commercial is great.

camkevbell says:

This commercial was all about penis.
The first scene you see an erect iPhone going limp in a glass case, and then blown up, followed by a spray.
Then the doll scene bashes on women.
The racehorse scene if you pause through it practically has a fisting scene in it, a rocket in it, horses in it, men bent over in it, the Droid phone becoming erect in it with mother app on the phone I might add... Ewww.
Then robot calipers penetrate a piece of sheet metal.
Then if it wasn't obvious enough, bananas are thrown about over saw blades, with a banana money shot all over the screen. WTF.
The mannequins getting it in the face was another money shot.
The pretty ponies in the garbage crusher were another shot against women.
Then a white iPhone explodes into a pretty obvious orgasm followed by a big NO. Subtle eh?
Another slam on women with the princess putting on lipstick.
And finally another penis reference this time in hand smashing through walls.
Honestly, this commercial is ridiculous.

Tramain says:

Its a pretty good & catchy commerical, Even though I HATE the droid :)

Alex says:

I love my iPhone and would never switch but... It impressively makes it point visually that us iPhone users are prissy posers who don't need speed or a phone to get s**t done.
Of course I personally disagree but that's advertising for you. Good for them--go get 'em Verizon. Let's see what Luke Wilson has to say about this (mr. Epic fail spokesperson)

SCY says:

I kind of liked the Eris, but hate the Droid, so I guess I'll stick with my beloved iPhone since I certainly don't want to be a porn star, maybe Apple's next commercial can be about how all Droid owners have Syphilis and Gonorrhea

fastlane says:

It's no surprise why this ghastly-looking, klunky device is rarely shown in quick flashes. They didn't want to ruin it for fans of horse racing, missiles, and beauty queens.

Drbling says:

It's aim for those guys who has small dick and wanna be porn star so they can get free sex. Pathetic

Alex says:

Also, where do you get 'porn stars' from? I just see them as "airhead" "fashionista" posers... Maybe you watch more porn than me.

The Reptile says:

You got to hand it to them - they're good at marketing. Their product isn't nearly as compelling but at least they're trying to put a dent in the iPhone. Doesn't mean that their claims or analogy are accurate. I'd be willing to wager that a Ferrari could dust a Camaro and that an iPhone 3GS can beat a Droid in performance. So not all pretty things are slow, cars or phones.
And while we're on the topic of porn stars, when is Ron Jeremy going to weigh in?

iDavey says:

I find these commercials to be the funniest things since the AT&T commercials of yore. You remember...when they actually advertised funny things instead of iPhone and Verizon hating.
I want the old AT&T back =[

Pop says:

The worst thing about this ad is that it ratchets up the wow factor. The best job on Madison Ave? Droid ad exec. The worst? Creative director of the next Droid ad campaign.
In an era of politically correct male emasculation and female masculation it's a breath of fresh air to see Rambo has not entirely been supplated by Dora the Explorer.

taroliw says:

I guess I must not be part of their target demographic. The commercial says so little about the product itself and is so in-your-face pornographic that I'm actually /distracted/ by it rather than inspired to know more about the product they're apparently trying to advertise.
What these DROID commercials say to me is that the idea and imagined attributes of the product are more noteworthy than the product itself. And that's kind of sad, really. The visceral response to the ads may have driven up numbers in the short term, but I somehow doubt it will create the sustained sales a product marketed for it's actual attributes has enjoyed.

ArseneKarl says:

I hate this commercial, more than the stealth bomber one.
Really? The Droid have to sink this low to evoke young men's phobia of being effeminate?
Why not fly a container of iPhone to Uganda and smash everyone of them on the street?
I now offically HATE Droid and will dissuade everyone in my family and close friend from getting one.
Verizon, you probably just lost 10+ constumers.

Mav says:

If an ad pitches one thing against another it's an automatic fail in my mind. Then, again, who the blip even cares about ads?

Sadie says:

Wow. I will join in with this site's anti-Verizon slant when it uses misogyny to sell gadgets.

mystic says:

Yup. Terrible ads for a so-so device. They remind me of Sprint ads for the Samsung Instink - and look how well those turned out.

Not to be a nitpicker says:

I don't know if I would compare my product to a SCUD Missile. The SCUD Missile was a Cold War Soviet-designed missile that was sold to many countries including, North Korea, Iran, Vietnam, Iraq. The SCUD missile came into popular lexicon during the first Gulf War when Iraq started shooting them towards Israel and Saudi Arabia. Do you really want to associate your product with a weapon that was used to attack US troops and civilians?
Do a little research Verizon, or at least the ad agency that made this for them.

Lady Kaede says:

I'm with The Reptile on this one - it's a well-produced and probably effective ad, and fairly original. They can't really say anything great about Droid's actual attributes vs. iPhone, so they go for style and subliminal messaging. But as a marketing strategy, going for 15% of the population instead of 100, what's with that? Will fail if your goal is actually to be an iPhone killer. Maybe we'll see se kinder gentler Droid ads targeted at someone else? Grandmas? Librarians?

Morgan Reed says:

Isn't the iPhone 3GS faster then the Droid?

icebike says:

I'm with Reptile too.
Lets face it, most of the complaints above are whining drivel, that would disappear if the product being advertised had an Apple logo.
The hyperventilating overly analytic hand-wringing above contains way more sexual innuendo than the ad itself, probably inspired by sitting way too long in first year college courses in non-challenging fields of study, by people who didn't understand that those courses and the material put forth was never meant to be taken seriously, but simply to serve as a sieve to dissuade anyone with critical analytical skills from dwelling long enough in that field of study to figure out that its all speculative conjecture backed by politics and no science.
All the Droid ads have been edgy and creative, from the F-117 deploying "War of the Worlds" pods right thru this one. They are working on that robotic theme and playing on the "Terminator" and "Transformer" movie franchises.
Its clever marketing.
Its Effective marketing.
I rather suggest the latter is what pisses off so many on this site.

Dragonfly says:

"So, according to Verizon, the Motorola DROID is for wannabe male porn stars and the iPhone is for the beauty queens"
nah, the iPhone is for guys that date beauty queens, the first part of the statement is correct.

MS says:

The commercial claims that Droid "does" the internet blazingly fast. But isnt the iPhone 3GS faster? That's what the YouTube clips I've watched show. It seems like Verizon is taking alot of liberties and just throwing out whatever half truths it wants hoping to get the iPhone hater demographic. Seems like a waste of time to me.

kev says:

Matt if you want grown up talk go to AI but we like to have a lil fun on here. What's wrong that?

ArseneKarl says:

@icebike
That is a lot of speculative conjecture right there.
I almost can feel the unergonomic chair in the library killing my back while reading your comment.
Just FYI I liked the misfit toy commercial and the "there is a map for that" one. Meanwhile the Droid image Verizon's been pushing represents everything I hate about a overtly testosterone driven small group of people, the new misogynistic one just pushed me over the edge. Enough is enough.

NevadaScott#IM says:

I'm pretty sure the reason they are marketing this droid to males has to do with the Sony Ericson android coming out next year. it's the only android phone I'd consider at this point but with my investment in apple products, I doubt I'd ever leave the iPhone.

Orion2021 says:

I finely had a chance to play with a working Droid at a Verizon Kiosk the other day. It does make a solid attempt to challenge the iPhone, yet it failed in sooo many ways. Page loads seemed ok. Big thing that struck me was it's "squarishness" physically and in software. The keyboard and directional nav button have some value for gaming that the Iphone lacks. It seemed very underpowered in terms of application launch etc. Nothing like my 3GS. 3GS is fast and smooth in all it does. Droid is much like a clunky droid from a George lucas film.
As for the commercial, Verizon is afraid to show off the device and so rely on alternate imaging. And of course they are selling it on the *** factor. It permeate all modern advertising.

greidel says:

@Not to be a nitpicker: you left out one important part; didn't SCUD missles gain publicity for being wildly inaccurate? They should have used a Patriot missle, one that accurately targets and finds exactly what it is looking for, not one that goes off indiscriminately, carelessly splattering anywhere it wants without consideration...oh.

lonbeehold says:

Yesterday, I was sitting next to someone who was on a Droid. I didn't recognize it at first, just thought the device was chunky, clunky and ugly. Then I saw Motorola and Verizon emblazoned on it and realized what it was. Made me love my sleek, beautiful iPhone even more. Seriously, that is one ugly piece of hardware.

Dreadnutz says:

Personaly I don't think speed is really an issue with these phones, it's what you can do with them that is more compelling and how good is it at making phone calls. Apple has the " what you can do" part sewn up but the call part is going to kill them if they don't give ATT a kick in the ass and get them to move with better 3G coverage and service.

SpiceRak2 says:

If I were to hazard a deeper subtext to this commercial, I'd be inclined to think the message is homophobic and even suggests that iPhone users are g.a.y and weak. But, thankfully...I'm not looking deeper...saving me the trouble of being offended by yet another corporate machine acting poorly for the sake of greed.

RonnJeremy says:

I really didn't see the porn aspect of this.... maybe I'm immune :) I suppse if they cut up apples you'd say they have an "Ev" complex gainst women... sheesh, give it a rest...
Anway, the Droid is a great phone for what it is, and the iPhone, while it has tons of apps, suffers mightily from disgustingly bad ATT 3G service. Verizon has a 1-2 punch with their commercials ("There's a map for that" and "droid")while ATT's are lame beyond description. The best they can repond with is "you can talk and surf at the same time"??? My Blackberry's been doing that since DAY ONE. And "Verizon starts with V"??? Weak....

Iphone lover says:

Seems to be workign to me, went and bought a droid on friday, works better than my iphone, maybe cause my 3g coverage map is much bigger. On the other hand the small att coverage made me feel good, cause i could associate it, since all of us iphone users have small penises.http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/11/24/motorolapassesappleinbrandloyaltyamongmenstudy.html

Kevin says:

Wow! You iPhone lovers can't get over the fact that Android has been out for 1 year and is the third largest smart phone OS right now. .Have any of you played with a Droid yet? Running live widgets on up to 11 home desk tops..Google integrated.Open OS..Mod to your liking. .I can multitask a phone call, while browsing the web to past Email in a app, and sending everything on full 3g coverage no matter where I'm at. .All while doing this with a hardware keyboard with a 3.7screen with double the iphone res. . I can make my own apps and put on the Droid..iPhone is awesome. ..but all of you really deep down know that Droid Does! In a year the Android phones out will be the new bar. ..

Joost says:

Funny aggressive commercial :)
I don't understand how you read into it that its aimed at wannabe pornstars though..(?!)
And why do you assume its directly aimed at iPhones??? My first thought was that it was directly bashing Ladyphones.. you know those pretty little phones with blingbling stuff. That's why this is a good commercial.. like ladyphones have their own niche market, 'manly'-droid-like-phones can have theirs.
Just like iPhone has its own..

Rob says:

Did you notice how in one of the shots they made a white iPhone look like a tampon

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Droid Porn says:

I love my Droid and I use it for exactly what my title says ;)
Cool commercial too!