Advertising: Why Android Device Makers are Still Doing it Wrong

If you’ve watched TV for any extended amount of time in the past 5 years, you’ve likely seen at least one of Apple’s commercials. From the “I’m a Mac” series, to the more recent “If you don’t have an iPhone” campaign, the company’s advertising has been top notch.

But the TV ads aren’t highly revered because of their content — people admire them because they work. They portray products that make technology simple and easy to use, and that’s attractive to the general public. But Android on the other hand…

While I acknowledge that Android (and its 60+ available models) phones are currently beating Apple in market share, there isn’t a single device that has sold anywhere close to the amount of units as the iPhone 4 or 3GS. And as far as tablets? Forget about it.

In case you haven’t noticed, Apple products aren’t just for Starbucks-drinking hipsters anymore. Through advertising, Apple has convinced the general public that their products are easy to use — alleviating the fear that technology is complicated. Watch:


This iPad 2 commercial is the perfect example of Apple pitching its product to the masses, not just to the geeks. “Faster, thinner, lighter, those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful.”

But for some reason, Android-device-makers seem intent on cutting their target audience down to just the people that understand terms like “1 GHz processor” and “4G LTE.” It’s extremely evident in this recent Droid Bionic ad.


Did you see the subtlety-placed Bionic features? 8MP 1080p HD, HDMI terminal, and dual core processor can all been seen in the first 30 seconds of the advert. The problem is that the group of people that understand what those things are is fairly small.

Obviously you can’t judge a company’s marketing strategy off a single commercial, but you get the idea. My mom, who is by far the least tech-savvy person I know, has an iPhone. She bought it because it looked easy to use. Weird.

With Apple expected to release more than one new smartphone model this Fall, on multiple new carriers, Android is going to have to step up its marketing game. It can’t keep relying on cheap prices and 50 different handsets to maintain its market share lead.