Xoom Needs to Serve Up Steak with the Sizzle

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2011-02-07 Print this article Print


In fact, Polston said that Motorola has been kicking the idea of a commercial referring back to Apple's original Super Bowl ad for some time. "It's been an idea floating around within our organization for a while," Polston said. "We announced Xoom at CES [in January], and about that time we were getting this insight around the omnipresence of Apple and thought it could be a compelling ad idea. We took this idea of an overarching commentary and expanded as a commentary on Apple." 

Polston said that basically, the goal behind the ad is to show people that Motorola is reacting to the demands of the marketplace. "If you look at the way consumers are using the iPad, it's basically content consumption," he said. "We're trying to go to the next step and allow people to create and produce with the Xoom, which is why it has so many features and functions built into it." 

The mission of the Xoom and of Motorola, according to Polston, is to help people. He said that's the reason for the new slogan, "Life. M-Powered." It's also the reason that Motorola turned the story of the Xoom into a love story about a guy trying to meet a woman he's obviously intrigued with. He said the idea is to make this a very human story. 

The question, of course, is whether the Xoom will be as transformative as the Motorola ad makes it out to be. There's no question that the Xoom will be a first-class piece of hardware. Motorola has shown through its Droid line that it can build some very nice products. But to be transformative it must also offer an experience that's so much better than the iPad that people will seek it out instead. 

To accomplish such a transformation requires more than just great hardware. It also requires an operating system that enables greatness along with a choice of applications that give people the things they want and can't get anywhere else. As nice as it is to see Apple's edgy 1984 ad turned into a love story, Motorola, as well as Google and Verizon, needs to make all of this work together to get to the next level.  

Right now, what we have is a memorable commercial. It grabbed my attention so effectively that I ran it several times (thanks to the cable company and its DVR) to really see what was there. But it needs to grab more than my attention; it needs to grab the attention and the imagination of the marketplace, and that's a lot harder to accomplish. 


Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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