Blog Post

Super Bowl XLV: Motorola’s New Xoom Ad References ‘1984’

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) touts its new Xoom tablet in a Super Bowl ad — making a double-reference to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), and unfortunately not really cutting out much of a unique space for itself. (Ad embedded after the jump.)

Apple first aired its own “1984” ad, directed by Ridley Scott, when it launched the Macintosh computer, nearly 16 years to the day Motorola aired its Xoom ad yesterday. Both take a page out of George Orwell’s novel of the same name, and lay out a world that is closed, creepy and soulless — to be broken, of course, by their respective products.

When Apple made its commercial, it was playing against the status quo of personal computer brands on the market at the time, which was largely dominated by the Commodore 64. Motorola takes the same form of Apple’s commercial — grey automatons trudging along in life — but uses it to rage against the status quo of today’s tablet market — created and dominated by Apple and its iOS system.

While Apple’s advert uses a colourful athlete slinging a hammer to literally shatter the automatons’ world; Moto goes for the rom-com angle, and seems to be quite happy to keep up the automatons’ life as long as we can add a bit of colour and love into it.

Will the Xoom really manage to make a dent into the iPad society as we know it? Some are skeptical of its reported $800 price tag, although that will likely see subsidies from service providers to bring it down.

And the Apple ad for good measure…

3 Responses to “Super Bowl XLV: Motorola’s New Xoom Ad References ‘1984’”

  1. A number of serious flaws in the story here…not to mention human sensitivity.
    First: if the girl is an iPad user (which being drone-clothed she presumably is) why is the tablet on her desk the Xoom (in a quick freeze upon replaying on the web one sees a logo on the front, therefore a Xoom)? I suppose the guy put it on her desk, but that’s not shown, so upon first viewing (without freezing, which doesn’t happen when watching the $3M per :30 superbowl ad on tv) one presumes that she’s watching an iPad, and it looks darn good.
    Second: if the guy is so independent and cool, why is he attracted to the drone girl? Her good looks alone obviously. Pretty shallow reason for an independent modern man.
    So are we to take away from this spot: shallow men interested in looks alone prefer Xoom tablets?

  2. This is not the first time this concept was done. I shot a short film, “Do Not Disconnect” in 2009 with a girl breaking out of a world plugged into headphones.

    Since we’re not expecting credit from Motorola, I’m asking people to please take a few minutes to watch how this idea was first done. Decide for yourself if you think this is too similar. We really have no recourse, but to post on blogs and comments sections. Motorola’s lawyers are surely well-paid.

    Please watch our short film. It’s not an ad; it’s a fun, heartfelt indie.

    Thank you!