If you’re unhappy with Apple’s sometimes gay-unfriendly iPhone policies, or you’re just tired of AT&T’s sucktastic network coverage, perhaps you’re thinking about switching to Verizon’s Droid, the Google-powered phone with all sorts of gizmos and whatsits. But are you willing to upgrade to faster data speeds and fewer dropped calls if Verizon is pushing homophobia in its Droid ads?
A new Droid ad is supposed to be a direct attack on the iPhone. But does it go too far? AllThingsD says “the 30-second clip makes Glenn Beck look like Gloria Steinem and Adam Lambert combined!”
Earlier advertising for the Droid has been clearly aimed at the he-man demographic, with a beer-commercial tone and a growly-voiced announcer.
So what? That’s marketing 101. But this one–titled “Pretty”–goes entirely too far.
“Should a phone be pretty?” it begins, using an odd series of images that is packed full of random misogyny. “Should it be a tiara-wearing, digitally clueless beauty pageant queen?”
Then comes all the manly imagery–a racehorse, a powerfully pointed Scud missile, bananas and buzzsaws to represent the Droid. A surging missile, as well as several creamy explosions too. Get it?
And let’s not forget the bunch of fey, effeminately-dressed mannequins, with one getting bashed with an ink-filled ball thrown by some tough masked thug with the line, “Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone?”
Then back to anti-women name-calling, saying an iPhone is a “princess,” unlike the Droid, “a phone that trades hair-do for can-do.”
It is true that sometime a phone ad is just a phone ad–but, in this case, sometimes it’s just appalling. It would be funny, if it weren’t so mean-spirited.
Yes, there’s plenty of phallic imagery. And yes, the word “princess” gets thrown around a lot. And yes, some manikins pulled from an Old Navy window are on the receiving end of a snowball attack. But does all that add up to a homophobic ad? The spot “aggressively calls the Apple iPhone a dumb blonde and then a prissy dude in need of a beatdown,” notes AllThingsD. Well, GLAAD hasn’t issued a release “condemning” the ad yet, so, uh, it probably is homophobic.
Meanwhile, here’s one example of a wireless provider going in an entirely different direction with homomarketing. From Canda’s Virgin Mobile:
Oh My Lord – GLAAD needs to get a clue and become relevant again. First they screw up with Southpark, missing the satire and meaning completely, then they screw up with ABC and Adam Lambert, now again they go completely bonkers going after an add like this?? What’s next?
GLAAD – get a clue – this is why the gay community is deserting you, you are making us look and sound bad!!
Its a stupid ad, especially when you consider that no one, and I mean no one, is more anal about the appearance of gadgetry than 1st adopters in the technology realm. Google had to outsource their build of the android. They don’t have any real manufacturing chops (or sense of aesthetics) like Apple does.
And the product looks it — just like Amazon’s kindle. And Microsoft’s hardline products. Clunky. A brick.
So how do they try to compensate for that sad fact?
By doing a silly ad that implies that aesthetics and fit/finnish and all the other hallmarks of beautiful design and deft manufacturing are signs of feyness and Paris Hilton-ism.
Android: the Hummer of Smart Phones.
Tazz–agreed. If they had showed a photo of a guy when they used the term ‘princess’, then I’d agree. But to assume this ad is homophobic because they throw an ink-bomb at a mannequin is ludicrous. I’d categorize it as ‘fashionphobic’, not homophobic.
Tazz sez: “GLAAD – get a clue – this is why the gay community is deserting you, you are making us look and sound bad!!”
Lack of reading comprehension makes us look and sound even worse. The site condemning the ad is AllThingsD. This article specifically states that GLAAD has released no statement regarding the ad.
Totally not making fun of sexuality, gender stereotyping, maybe? This is making an issue where there is none.
You guys are delusional. Look at the picture: Are you seriously claiming that the image of a mannequin wearing a plaid scarf, hand on hip, a yellow tank top and matching plaid pants is supposed to represent anything other than a stereotype of a gay man? Really? REALLY? Like I said. Delusional.
More likely fashion-phobic and slightly misogynistic, but I mean, isn’t all advertising discriminatory in one way or another? The ad is definitely stupid, because I mean, who cares more about aestetics than those people that need the latest gadgets (who wants a clunky phone anymore anyway), but not necessarily homophobic. Straight guys dress nice too, you know.
What? This ad says absolutely nothing about gay people. What are you talking about? Suggesting that ‘Old Navy mannequin’ equals ‘gay man’, that is homophobic.
It’s another commercial to boost heterosexual males’ ego. In order to boost heterosexual male ego you also have say what heterosexual males are not (women and gay) and act tough. Yes, their is an anti-gay message in this commercial for those of you who can’t think.
james p. p.
Whoever was the first to ask the question above is a stereotyping ass.
the fact that it was repeated and written about is moronic. I feel shame that i’m even commenting on this.
My boyfriend and I saw the ad the other night and seriously thought “uhhh… what the hell was that?”
At the time, we didn’t even consider the ad homophobic, but we did consider it moronic. Stating that a well-designed item is necessarily Less Than somehow is just a really, really sad attempt at product positioning. They may as well have had naked women talking about how sexy their boyfriend’s were once they got Droids…
Overall though, I can see the latent homophobia in the ad. It’s not overt though. It is overtly anti-feminine, or anti-anything not deemed Macho, and that’s an issue in and of itself.
“matching plaid pants”
Clearly a reference to golfers, not gay men. Verizon is anti-golf.
The overall theme of the Droid ad campaign has been that the iPhone is for kids, women and homos while the Droid is for real men. You’re a fool if you can’t recognize the homophobia there.
Verizon has made no such gender assignment Michael. Verizon has solely been portraying the iPhone as a dumbed down smartphone that is incapable of things smartphones have been doing for years.
I’m as gay as it gets and I bought a Droid the day it came out. The ad is not homophobic at all. It is mocking all the dumbshits that love their beautiful looking iPhone, when it can’t do dick compared to the Droid or any other Android phone.
If gay people like the iPhone because it looks pretty, and this ad makes fun of them… it doesn’t make the ad homophobic. It makes the user/viewer an idiot.
I watched it with no volume first time out. Sorry that MANaquin
is a big ‘ol mary! And yes there is implied Bashin ‘o the Gays in that ad. I usually try not to be a nervous nellie about
those screaming about supposed homophobic shit but this one unfortunatley qualifies……………
I think it’s only elliptically about the gays, if you consider that, along with women, gays run fashion.
It’s a phone that is anti-fashion, anti-stereotypes-of-fashion. Cluelessly, their idea of “fashion” is several years behind (haven’t noticed any girls dressing as princesses this year… it’s all leggings, lace and 80s-influenced androgyny, not Paris Hilton.)
I think on the whole this is a really unfortunate marketing campaign. Stupid. Unlikely to appeal to Christmas shoppers (women, especially young women, buy a lot of technology; most of us are glued to our Blackberry or iPhone or HTC.) Lacks an overall message apart from “Not the iPhone.” If I weren’t an early adopter myself I would be ignoring the Droid entirely.
Another Droid ad has a Tokio Hotel song. ~*Real men*~ don’t like Tokio Hotel.
Mountain, meet mole hill.
Cripes. It’s like none of you people have ever heard of hipsters. Gays aren’t the first thing folks think of when they hear ‘fashion victim with expensive haircut’ anymore, and that’s a good thing, because that’s not who we are. This ad is not homophobia. Not even close. If you’re a hipster homo, I can see how you might have got confused, but they’re not mocking your gayness. Your sexuality is not your mobile phone.
….I dont care if this is homophobic or not, im still sticking with my iphone. The droid is an ugly lil thing with only 10,000 apps, the iphone is great looking with over 100,000 apps. The iphone is pretty on the inside and out.
While I don’t think it’s s good an Ad as other Droid Ads.
It’s not Homophobic. And I actually think that to call it homophobic is to assume that Only gay people care about appearances.
The Droid is a much better phone then the iPhone in my opinion and the I really don’t think this ad is homophobic in any way. The worst thing it could be is misogynist.
And I think the Droid looks prettier then the iPhone so like I said, This Ad is just silly, not homophobic.
I think we’re looking too deep into it – didn’t do anything for me.
Go Virgin! The first picture was hot but don’t know how the second picture is homomarketing.
Yeah, it’s a stupid ad, but not homophobic.
And, are we seriously rooting for Virgin yet another gay hookup ad? I mean, I’d like to see one freaking ad that has an actual gay couple, it doesn’t always have to be sex.
Where’s the next article about how the banana being sliced open is supposed to represent a phallus?
#20: The same thing I would have said when people were seriously arguing against Macs because there were so many more applications for Windows: so long as there are more than you yourself can ever possibly use, and they do what you want, what do the extras matter?
Having said that, I’d still rather have an iPhone… but then, I’ve been with AT&T (or its ‘predecessors’) ten years next month, and it still picks up better than Verizon does *where I live*, which is far more important than whose coverage area is larger.
I agree with Michael W. I don’t think the ad itself is homophobic. But it is definitely targeted at the type of macho straight guys who are more likely to be homophobic. And it is clearly trying to define the iPhone as “girly”. In all, it’s a pathetic attempt to stigmatize good phones when Verizon’s too far behind to play fair, and it’s not something to get upset over. It seems like society is getting sick of this “real man” idea anyway. Anybody who believes in free thought and freedom of expression would laugh at what this ad is trying to do.
This ad has nothing to do with bashing homosexuals. They are clearly talking about how a phone shouldn’t be just a good looking machine that can’t function. And for the throwing of the tomatoe or whatever it was at the manikin, it was a “symbol”, if you will, of verizon breaking the whole “I need to have a phone because it looks cute” The manikins were well dressed men, so? Gay men aren’t the only men who can dress themselves.
I really don’t quite see where its anti gay. I really do think that this is a case of over analyzing a like 1 or 2 second part of an add and one image that barely flash on the screen if for more then a second. The message of the add seems to be that the Droid is not just a fluffy fashion accessory like the IPhone but a one that also works and can do what if promises to do.(sort of like the out cry of the Dodge Caliber “fairy” commercial when it first came out. Personal I did not see an anti gay message ether)
And this is coming from some one who is not currently a very big fan of Verizon as their gouge their customer policies have me quite pissed off with them at the moment.
Apple should really do a spoof of this commercial. I’m thinking beer-gut plumbers wearing toolbelts halfway down their crack, with only half of their toolbelt actually filled up [because there aren’t that many tools available yet]. And one of the tools should be the ugly ass Droid. Now that’s a manly man image you won’t soon forget.
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