Smarts
Charlotte Hannah
August 02, 2013

Ladies, Accessorize Your Motorola Phone with All Your Other Pink Crap


Look at these ads for the new Moto X Hands-On, a new smartphone that sells itself on its wide range of options for customization. Just look at them.

Can you spot what’s wrong with these pictures?

Photo credit: Motorola

Photo credit: Motorola

Photo credit: Motorola

Photo credit: Motorola

Oh god, not this again.

First of all, who wrote this marketing copy? “Your socks, your watch, your bike say so much about you, why shouldn’t your phone?” Uuuuuugh.

But more importantly, there’s the fact that one ad is clearly marketing the phone to men, while the other is marketing it to 13-year-old girls from the ‘80s women, I guess. That and the charming title “Feminine Mystique.”

Don’t get me wrong. I think having the option to customize the way your phone looks is sweet – I’d be rocking a turquoise and green one, myself. And I’m sure there’s some girl out there who loves her pink Chucks and carries a yo-yo and rocks a sparkly purple trucker hat like nobody’s business, and she’s going to love her pretty new pink phone.

But this heavily gendered marketing crap is just so boring. Why is the “man ad” addressing men who ride a bicycle, write in a notebook and, uh, measure things, while the “woman ad” addresses girls who play with yo-yos, wear mascara, eat Pop Rocks, cover their boo-boos with pretty Band-Aids and love pink, pink, pink?

Why is Motorola’s ad agency using man ads and woman ads in the first place? Anyone who’s taken a basic marketing class can tell you “women” isn’t a demographic.

And if the ads genuinely were designed to appeal to single, urban men in their early 20s and middle-class pre-teen girls respectively, the company should’ve thought a little harder about how that would come off. Like Sam Biddle says in this article, “Publishing a collection of bright girly things that will go well with your magenta smartphone, under the heading ‘Feminine Mystique,’ seems like something that’s ‘Not Smart in 2013.'”

I doubt that’s the case though. This is some straight up “men like these things and women like these other (shiny, pink) things” BS.

Here’s a thought: if you’re trying to make ads that showcase your product’s value as a functional accessory, why not just show how nice it looks next to the accessories of human beings. GEEZ WHY IS THIS SO HARD.

Picture this:

A wind-up watch. A pair of black, thick-framed glasses. A pair of Converse in a neutral color. A copy of VICE. A container of organic hair goop.  A white phone.

BAM. Moto X Hands-On, marketed to hipsters.

A stack of notebooks in various colors. A backpack. A scarf in a neutral color. A pencil case. A six-pack of Natural Ice. Several credit cards. A yellow phone.

There you go. Moto X Hands-On, marketed to college students.

Come on, people. Let’s do better.