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More effective Google advertising

Maybe there's a good reason I don't work in marketing, but this seems so bleeding obvious...
  [vote for,

Working in Tech Support for a major US cellphone carrier, I find myself frequently put in the position of having to explain the many differences between Android, Blackberry, IOS, and Windows Phone 7 smartphones to my customers who, from the commercials shown on television, really don't seem to understand that there ARE actual differences in capability between these operating systems.

I've had many iPhone users tell me that if they knew from the beginning that you can't backup any of your data (can't, in fact, even store contacts on your SIM card), or in fact even activate the device, without plugging into a computer and syncing with iTunes they would have never bought one. Several didn't even know what iTunes was when I asked if they had synced with it, and became extremely frustrated when I explained to them that they have to keep their software updated on a regular basis (which can only be done through iTunes) or we (the carrier) can't provide ongoing troubleshooting support for it.

I see AT&T's advertisements for iPhones showing a dozen neat things you can do on them (ie, 'there's an app for that'). I see the EXACT SAME capabilities being advertised by Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless for their Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones.

The ones I always seem to see are turn-by-turn GPS and map systems, social networking, and syncing music between your phone and computer. These are things that EVERY SINGLE SMARTPHONE can do! So when people see commercials for an Apple iPhone, Motorola Droid X, Blackberry Torch, and HTC Surround, they see the exact same capabilities (with maybe a few cosmetic hardware differences) on display and naturally they're going to go with the iPhone because it has already established itself in these roles.

Customers don't seem to realize that things such as external memory card slots, applying after-market music files as ringtones, third-party (non-Market) app download capability, and Google's myriad cloud services are not universal to the smartphone genre of devices.

I think that if smartphone manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, and Samsung ran an ad campaign highlighting the advantages of their Android operating system over rival OS's, as opposed to trying to showcase how similar their device is to the iPhone, they would see a huge leap in sales.

In short, my idea is to change the direction of their ad campaigns from "see how well we've managed to emulate the iPhone" to "see how many ways in which we are better than the iPhone".

21 Quest, Sep 14 2011


       If i had myself cracked the marketing problem, i wouldn't be in penury, but i'm thinking this wouldn't work and i don't know why. I think it's because people like what they see the iPhone as capable of doing and if a competing device's other capacities were advertised instead, there wouldn't be enough attention span left to make it look like an iPhone, but i'm not sure that's why. This is intriguing. I feel almost sure it wouldn't work even though it sounds sensible and i can't pinpoint why i think that.
nineteenthly, Sep 15 2011

       My take on it is that Apple have done for the touchscreen smartphone what Hoover did for the vacuum cleaner, Coke did for the cola-beverage, Aspirin did for acetylsalicylic acid, blah blah, Sellotape, blah blah Frisbee, blah blah Tarmac, Taser, Tippex etc.

       If you create/dominate/market a product niche successfully enough, you get to lead and control what the perception is over that product niche.

       This isn't about technology (not totally anyway) it's about a well constructed, tightly controlled, targeted, vetically integrated and funded marketing strategy designed to exactly do this.

       Until Android (Microsoft have attempted to do this, only 5 years too late) start opening glossy "Android Stores", start doing "keynotes" (the fact that we all know what a "keynote" even is is an example of the domination of the market in this area) accidentally "leaving" new models around in San Fransisco bars, and getting control of their hardware (see the recent Motorola move suggesting they are starting to do this) they're not going to have the same total-market presence that it's taken Apple the last 10 years to build up.
zen_tom, Sep 15 2011

       By pointing out what their device CAN do, they are implicitly pointing out what it CANNOT do as well, potentially giving customers a reason not to buy.

       [21Quest]: (caps added) //if they knew from the beginning that you can't ... THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER BOUGHT ONE.//
swimswim, Sep 15 2011

       Further to z_t's anno, I would say that , specifically, its about selling things to people who don't understand them (and probably don't want to understand them). That's why the marketers concentrate on the "Ooh, shiny!" aspect rather than bothering to go into any real detail about their products.
DrBob, Sep 15 2011

       Then invest in shinier materials and craftsmen who can polish them to their maximum potential.
21 Quest, Sep 15 2011

       The problem my idea is meant to address is actually exacerbated by Apple's blatantly false advertising. I see iPhone and iPad commercials all the time saying "If you don't have an iPhone, you can't do X", with X being something that many other smartphones actually CAN do, such as storing a library of ebooks or syncing your music player with a computer wirelessly. They frequently show iPads displaying interactive 3D anatomy diagrams, which is a basic function of the Google Body app, which is available on all Android tablets running 3.0 or higher.

       I would love to see a commercial that starts off with a scene from one of those iPhone commercials, then the screen freezes and a big red X appears across it. Then a Google representative walks across the screen holding an Android phone and says "Actually, I don't have an iPhone and I can do all of those things" then shows exactly how they can be done on his platform plus one or two other things that the iPhone CAN'T do, such as out-of-box activation without plugging into a computer and inserting a MicroSD card with 32 gigabytes of music, pictures and PDFs stored on it.

       Then his buddy comes walking up with another Android device, and they swap MicroSD cards to trade some music files without having to repurchase them through iTunes.
21 Quest, Sep 15 2011

       <obligatory stereotypical marketing joke>Two charities have set up booths near an door to a big Catholic church. The booths are right next to each other. One has a big Star of David on the booth, the other, a beautiful painted Jesus.


       The donation jar at the Star Of David booth is pitifully empty. On the other hand, there are several donation jars at the Jesus booth that are completely full, and the last one is near overflowing.

       One passer by sees the situation, shakes his head, stops by the booth with the Jesus, drops a buck, then turns to the booth with the Star of David, shakes his head again and says: why would you set up your booth here? Maybe you need to set up by a temple?

       He leaves. As he does, the person behind the Jesus booth turns to his right and says, "Moshe, they want to teach us about marketing"<End of obligatory stereotypical marketing joke>

       Eventually there would be a better device. An Android Amazon device might give them a run for their money. But for the most part, the iPhone is more polished, and has a nice religious following. Tough to beat that.

       I think the idea has a tough time standing on its own, and feels ranty.
theircompetitor, Sep 15 2011

       It's an ad campaign... just like the category says.
21 Quest, Sep 15 2011

       I have several complaints about my Android phone that seem like basic ergonomic fails.
RayfordSteele, Sep 15 2011

       One other commercial could demonstrate a busy, overtasked iPhone user dropping his phone on the sidewalk and crying out "NOOOO! I didn't have a chance to sync with iTunes and backup my data! I have a spare iPhone in my briefcase but I can't even activate it until I get home!"

       Then it shows an identical scene featuring an Android user, who says "oh darn, I'm going to have to reconfigure my display preferences!" He then retrieves the still-intact MicroSD card and SIM card, then inserts them into a spare phone from his briefcase, activates it in 2 minutes, and goes on about his business.
21 Quest, Sep 16 2011

       But iPhones are so shiny
pocmloc, Sep 16 2011

       [21 Quest] What you are suggesting is very similar to the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads but in reverse.
marklar, Dec 19 2011

       When I read the title, thought it might be something about the ads that pop up on the side bars of almost every site. Imagination kept to hipnotoad.

       Life would be simpler if decision making was removed...
saedi, Dec 22 2011


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