Motorola Trolls Apple And Samsung For Real Innovation With Skip The Sevens Campaign

Skip the Sevens

Motorola is imploring smartphone shoppers to "Skip the Sevens," the tagline of a new ad campaign designed "to get you to think about what you really want from a smartphone." The so-called "Sevens," of course, is a thinly veiled reference to Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and Samsung's Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy Note 7.

We have to hand it to Motorola here, it could have taken the easy path by belittling Apple's attempt to convince users it was courageous for removing the 3.5mm audio jack from its iPhone 7 line, or pointing out that Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 handsets are sometimes too hot to handle (literally). But rather than berate the competition and drawing attention to their missteps, it chose to highlight features of the Moto Z to a series of focus groups.

"On September 12 we met with a few groups of Apple loyalists - not actors - to talk about a recent announcement and their reactions. We showed them some prototypes. But we didn’t tell them they were Moto’s until later," Motorola states in a blog post.

Motorola's point is that "smartphone innovation has stalled." The focus group that appears in a nearly two and a half minute ad spot seems to agree—they begin the discussion by talking about the iPhone 7 and how they were expecting more from Apple.

From there the panel's host shows off the Moto Z under the guise that it's an iPhone prototype. The group is collectively enthused about the Moto Z's add-ons (Moto Mods)—external accessories that attach to the Moto Z. One is an extended battery, another is a loud speaker, and the last one is a projector.

We tend to believe their reaction to the Moto Mods because we were similarly impressed when we had the opportunity to play with them ourselves (check out our review of the Moto Z). They're a refreshing take on what's become a stale cycle, one that Motorola admits it got caught up in.

Motorola Moto Z

"It seems like the smartphone category is focused on incremental improvements. Display sizes increase by fractions of an inch. Cameras change by a few megapixels. And you often have to wait years for the next big thing," Motorola says. "We admit we played that game too. Until now. So this year, skip the sevens. Go for something new, something different. Because while everyone else if figuring out how to improve their smartphones, we reimagined what the smartphone can be."

Not everyone is going to buy into Motorola's sales pitch, and though innovation seems to be lacking on a grand scale, Apple and Samsung continue to kick out premium devices. But if you are looking for something new, something that veers off the beaten path a bit, the Moto Z is a good place to start.