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We’re only a few hours into the official Droid era, but already it appears that Motorola’s (s mot) bet on Google’s (s goog) mobile OS was a good move. The first Android 2.0 device is conjuring memories of the iPhone’s debut, prompting techies to line up by the dozen in Manhattan, inspiring a tweeting frenzy on Twitter and helping to boost shares of the Schaumburg, Ill.-based phone manufacturer. But to fully leverage all the hype, Motorola should invest in ads that push its brand and increase consumer awareness.
Verizon Wireless isn’t the largest carrier to join the Android bandwagon — that honor goes to Vodafone, which launched the HTC Magic in February — but the debut of the Droid looks to be the operating system’s biggest single step since Android debuted with the HTC G1 last year. And while Verizon is also launching the $100 HTC Eris today, Motorola clearly has more at stake in the Google/Verizon tie-up than any other OEM. In fact, Droid “promises to reverse Motorola’s fortunes” in mobile, according to a statement this morning from iSuppli:
“Droid is potentially a game changer for Motorola,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst, wireless communications for iSuppli. “Motorola now is no longer just emphasizing slick form factors, such as it did with its RAZR handset. The company now has focused on the hottest segment of the global mobile handset market — providing compelling smartphone products that are usable and expandable through third-party applications.”
Indeed, Motorola wisely joined the Android bandwagon ahead of some of its competitors, and it appears to have produced a compelling handset at a competitive price. Just as importantly, it is benefiting from a big-budget marketing campaign backed by the nation’s largest carrier. But that campaign is focused entirely on Verizon Wireless and its Droid initiative — not on Motorola or any other manufacturer. For Motorola to fully leverage the momentum it’s gaining from the launch of the Droid, it should produce its own marketing campaign to push its suddenly hot brand — just as HTC is doing with its compelling “You” campaign.