I say this only because those ads are the best thing that has ever happened to us, and we’d hate to see Palm wake up and obtain a clue and stop running them. What we’re all wondering is, what pack of geniuses sat in a room and looked at these ads and said, Sure, let’s pump millions of dollars into this campaign? I mean, think about it. You’ve just rolled out a new product. You decide, first of all, that you’re going to target women. Which is a great idea because, um, women don’t buy smart phones. Smart move, right? It’s like making a new brand of Summer’s Eve — for men.
Also, think about it. The campaign won’t draw women because women don’t want products that condescend to them by putting things like a makeup mirror on the back. Worse yet, now you’ve stigmatized your product by making it seem like a “chick phone,” so dudes won’t want to buy it. You’ve created the Lexus RX of smartphones. Hey, Ruby? You’re an engineer, remember? Not a marketing guy. Back at Apple you were always complaining because we wouldn’t let you attend meetings where we discussed product strategy and advertising. Hate to be blunt, but there’s a reason we keep you nerds locked up in the labs. Now you realize why, maybe. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you really do think you’re Jobso Junior, and believe you too can be both a brilliant product visionary and the world’s greatest product marketer. If that’s the case, I weep for your deluded soul.
Okay. But let’s say you really do intend to make a product and aim it at women. Even if that’s the case, you might want to think twice about casting some girl who has no eyebrows or eyelashes and who looks almost exactly like the scary animated woman from the Barbie Fairytopia movies. Yup, that’s gonna draw the ladies. For sure. Cause if there’s one thing women are looking for is some new technology that can turn them into mindless, soulless Barbie doll zombies.
You know there’s an old saying (it’s either Steve Martin or Sun Tzu, I can never remember) that goes, “When your opponent is committing suicide, get out of his way.” That’s how we feel about these Pre ads. They’re so bad that the ad guy who created them is being grilled by Advertising Age and is defending them by saying, in effect, that yes they are terrible, but that’s a good thing, because now everyone is talking about the Palm Pre. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when he’s sitting in a conference room using that line on Ruby and trying to get paid. I used to think that the Borg’s advertising could never be outdone. But you know what? Ruby & Co. have done it. Well done, Ruby. Well done.
For what it’s worth, Katie does a scary good impersonation of these ads. Like we’ll be sitting in a meeting and someone will ask her a question and she’ll pause, and turn sideways, and pull her hair back really tight and start talking in that Pre girl zombie voice. Katie, I love you. I really do.
Just for the heck of it, look at this ad:
And here’s a spoof:
And here is an Exorcist-themed riff from Attack of the Show: