Good Ad/Bad Ad: Smartphones in Ads

Good ad: GEICO – Smartphone, dumb things

Why it’s good:

  • It’s true. Smartphones have changed our world for the better (we’re never without a map, for instance) but people have also made some really stupid apps. GEICO has it right.
  • It’s funny. White-collar workers goofing off on their phones is a pretty common sight, at least in my office. Probably in a lot of others too.
  • GEICO’s commercials are often part of a larger campaign (gecko, caveman, this guy), so we recognize this as a GEICO ad as soon as it begins.
  • I’m not a big fan of the guy kicking the chair around at the end (why?) but it’s not too distracting.

Bad ad: Verizon – Droid Incredible 2 “Surprise”

Why it’s bad:

  • Fourteen of thirty-one seconds are spent on a closeup of a woman’s face. With a voiceover. She’s not even talking.
  • It tries really hard. She doesn’t have a good “surprised face,” so she’s going to look up videos on her phone? The only video you should be trying to sell on a phone is something like this.
  • People don’t make buying decisions standing in the parking lot. It seems rather unsafe to me.
  • Other Verizon ads show the staff being helpful, but this is literally just a woman deciding to buy a phone.
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