We talked yesterday about the new LG Optimus 3D–it's a mobile device built with the partnership of YouTube that allows users to record, view, or upload 3D video. There is another Optimus device, though, in the land of LG–a tablet device called the Optimus Pad. And it's making waves this week with a new commercial that's being called anything from daring to tasteless.
The commercial in question is relatively bland, if you ask me. Lots of CGI work… close-up shots of the device intermingled with a lot of flashy moving digital graphics… oh, and more solar lens flares than a Star Trek movie. In other words–it's a lot of fluff, and little substance. They breeze through the Optimus Pad's main features, such as a dual core processor, the new tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS from Google.
What's got people buzzing about this ad is one brief moment in the middle. The title cards show the LG Optimus and its dual core processor next to what appears to be an iPad… and it's single core processor. Then, with the devices side-by-side, LG attempts to show how their device has better speed and overall performance. In the midst of this section, a clip of a Mortal-Kombat-style video game is shown, called Spec Fighter:
Spec fighter features a karate-expert named Optimus squaring off against a character bearing an uncanny resemblance to Steve Jobs, named A Pad. As soon as the "game" footage begins rolling, A Pad takes a mighty kick to the chin:
The ad then continues on about its CGI presentation, tossing in a few more glamour shots of the Optimus Pad (with lens flares!). Here, why don't you take a look at the ad yourself:
(Video removed from YouTube)
Media reaction to the commercial has been pretty divided, though most seem to think that featuring a Jobs-like character getting kicked in the face is tasteless. I might not completely agree–after all, Jobs has done plenty to position himself as the face of Apple, and it seems unfair to cry foul whenever that association is made by competitors–the tastelessness of the ad is actually the thing I am most interested in applauding.
Controversy is the single best way to go viral. Who can deny the viral power of imagery that is so bold?Already blogs from TechCrunch to Gizmodo have covered the ad, giving it tons of free press. No matter that they're calling LG "cheap" or "rude," because at the end of the day… people are still watching the video in droves. Which is the very reason LG put the face-kicking shot in the ad in the first place.
Think about it–the target demographic for the LG Optimus is not likely to be made up of Apple fanboys. Anyone whose ever met and conversed with an Apple fanboy (or any other fanboy, for that matter) knows they aren't likely to ever change their minds or their loyalty. Instead, the ad is aimed at two groups: brand neutral consumers, and Android fanboys. Now, exactly how offended do you think those two groups are by a playful cartoon kick to the chin? I'd argue the brand-neutral consumers don't care either way, and that the Android fanboys probably loved it.
Offend the competitor, draw raves from the Android fanboys, and rack up the viral video views–it's a genius bit of strategizing if you ask me. All of which will result in pretty good consumer awareness of a new product–which is probably all this ad was intended to accomplish anyway. Even if you think the ad is a cheap shot, you can't argue with its success in stirring up interest and gaining views.