Android’s image problem.Tweet
Article by Tom Fleming:
Let’s face it. Android has an image problem. The general population sees iPhone as a superior product, with superior features that “just works.” On the contrary Android is seen as a platform for geeks, hackers and those who just hate the iOS. The question is, how do these perceptions get fixed?
Before I start making suggestions for how I would market Android, I will examine the commercials for Android products that I see on Television most often.
Right now, typically I see the commercials for Samsung trumping “The Next Big Thing is Here” by highlighting the features that the S3 has that the iPhone 5 does not by poking fun at people in line for the iPhone 5. Let me be the first to say, as an Android Fanboy, I LOVE these commercials, I find them hilarious. However, as a marketer, I think they are terrible. If you are reading this, you are a geek, hate to tell you, but that is a fact. Geeks don’t like bullies do we? And bullies, quite frankly, are not going to have a whole lot of fans in general. In these commercials, Samsung takes a bully mentality, making fun of the geeks and hipsters in line for the iPhone. If I was on the fence, deciding between the iPhone 5 and Samsung S3, these commercials would do nothing but alienate me more from Samsung, sorry to say, but that is my perspective. To that point, the only ones that this campaign speaks too are those who are already Android fans, who already dislike the iPhone. Well, you have them already, you need those on the fence, or those not entirely satisfied with the iPhone. This campaign will not get it done.
Samsung’s second campaign, with Lebron James for the Note 2 is markedly better, but still misses one of the main points. Seeing Lebron show off the Note 2 in a number of ways is great, I also am a big fan of using a huge personality that nearly everyone knows from site, celebrity endorsements work. However, if you are marketing a phone as being bigger than anything on the market, with size being its biggest differentiator against the rest of the market, why would you put it into some of the largest hands in the world, making it seem normal sized? They missed the mark.
The other major commercial campaign that we see running for Android products is for the Droid line. I love them, the commercials for the first Droid won me over and got me on board. But I am also a 36 year old geek who grew up watching Star Wars wanting to be a Jedi and own a Droid of my own. You have me Google, you have most others like me. You’ve saturated that marketplace. Let’s move on to where you need to be going.
The first question a successful marker should ask is this, “Who should Google really be targeting right now with their Android marketing campaigns?” The answer, and the ONLY answer to this is moms. Yes, you want moms. You want women from 25-49. I won’t admit this to my wife (dear Lord I hope she doesn’t read this), but she rules the house hold and the buying habits of it. This is the case in the vast majority of households, and once you get mom, you get little Timmy and Susie. You get little Timmy and Susie you’ll get dad.
Next question should be, how do I get mom? In past years it used to be to get mom you had to go through Oprah. ALL ROADS RAN THROUGH OPRAH! She is gone now though, so who is next in line. No better answer than Ellen DeGeneres, which gives two added bonuses. First and foremost, Ellen knows how to use gadgets, she owns them, she talks about them. There was a period, almost immediately after the iPhone 5 came out, that Ellen went from integrating the iPhone and iPad into her show daily to making fun of them daily. You had a window Google, and failed to capitalize on it. Now Ellen is back securely in the Apple fold. That doesn’t mean there are not other answers. Just find them.
Mom is busy, most of the time Mom is juggling running a household, working and shuttling children to school and other activities. You want Mom, tell her how you are going to make her life better. Tell her how you will help her be more efficient, get things done quicker and easier. Take things off of Mom’s plate. I am not going to sit here running down the features of Android, and the apps that do this, I’d be here for the next two months writing it. I know it, but does Mom? In most cases she doesn’t because no one has taken the time to tell her that.
My final suggestion for Google is to follow the lead of the great, memorable and most talked about campaigns that are on television now. The biggest thing that they all have in common is characters. Characters like Mayhem, the Gecko, Flo, Justin Long’s Mac, the AFLAC Duck, the Burger King and too many others to name all have become part of the American lexicon through their appearances in successful commercial campaigns. These campaigns have helped drive the sales and integration of the products into our lives. Why can’t Google do that too. They have the character already, Andy the Android. Why can’t Andy show up in various commercials showing mom how to do something, a short cut to how they can do something quicker, easier? Give Andy a voice, a recognizable voice (doesn’t have to be a famous actor, just a voice that will be identifiable as Andy), make him funny, but smart and run with it.
Here are two simple campaigns that I would run if I was running the Android marketing team or the Advertising agency tied to it, and reasons for them. The first would tie in the Jetsons. As I said before the target age demographic for the products should be 25-49. The vast majority of this age range watched the Jetsons growing up and dreamed of having some of the items that George Jetson and Jane, his wife, showcased. These futuristic toys made us want flying cars, phones we could see the person on the other side of, and one device that controlled our home. Though Android can’t give us the flying car, they can much of the rest. Use this, it is built in, it is easy. Any of the OEM’s could utilize this as well.
The second campaign I would run would be for the Android platform with direct tie ins to individual devices. I would play off of the old Justin Long “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” commercials and turn them into “I’m an iPhone” and “I’m an Android.” Except I wouldn’t just use two actors, I’d use many. The iPhone actor would be the same, dressed the same, looking exactly the same every time and in every scenario. However, I would have the Android actor would be different each and every commercial. Use this analogy to showcase the vast differences in Android devices. Do you have huge chimp hands like RobTheITGuy, a Note 2 might be for you. Do you prefer a device with a physical keyboard like my wife, a Droid 4 or Photon Q might be your speed. Those are just a few of the specific specifications you can get with Android, and those just describe hardware. There are more flavors of Android than Baskin Robbins has ice cream. Show people that there is something there for them, and 1 device doesn’t fit all.
You and your partners have built a great product Google. Now it’s time to tell people about it.