Is Verizon’s New Droid Ad Making Fun of the Homos?

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: