Motorola changes its 12-year-old boy sex joke ads

Faith Merino · August 2, 2013 · Short URL:

What better way to market the new Moto X than with a bunch of penis jokes?

You can tell a lot about the future of the Moto X based on its ads. Even the cleaned up ads are still pretty obnoxious, but the original ones were cheap, infuriating, and lazy. That’s why Motorola surreptitiously went in and tweaked the ads yesterday evening, following the release of the much-rumored USA-made Moto X phone, which was supposed to be Motorola’s big self-reinvention moment. But the device lacks the punch needed to effectively compete with Apple and Samsung, while still ringing in at the same price point.

In an effort to be hip and “down” with the cool cats on the street, Motorola released several ads Thursday afternoon with the unveiling of its new Moto X. Each of the ads features a layout of accessories that Motorola believes the average man, woman, and hipster is likely to have—in reference to the fact that the Moto X is fully customizable, from the back plate to the edges and even the color of the power and volume buttons.

Let’s start with this lovely gem:


Bitches be crazy about their sparkly hats and pink lip gloss…and pink sneakers, and pink socks, and pink watches, and pink keychains, and pink pocketbooks, and pink—matchboxes? Oh, and don’t forget the old point-and-click camera, because everyone knows that ladies are all 10 years behind on technology.

See?? Motorola knows its customers, and it’s making its Moto X phone less scary and intimidating in its phallic glory by showing that it comes in pink too! So now it will look just like your tampon case!

But notice the little tidbit in the top righthand corner: “Is bigger really better? You decide. (16 or 32 GB)”

Way to weave a dick joke into an ad that seems to be geared to tween girls. ALL THE HIGH FIVES, BRO.

Sensing the impropriety of this, Motorola changed it to “Play Goldilocks and choose the right size for you.”


But the new ad left the teeth-grindingly condescending: "It's not just another pretty phone. It's your phone." In other words: "I know you silly hens love pretty phones, but...I'm hungry and I've lost interest in talking at you. Go get the sparklies." I'm not even going to get started on the fact that Betty Friedan's groundbreaking life's work is referenced next to a bunch of sparkly shit and pop rocks. 

For more news on smartphone makers who don't know who/what half the population is, check out Samsung's Galaxy S4 unveiling last spring. (It, too, features lots of pink.)

Speaking of dick jokes, Motorola has also deleted an early tweet it sent out after the unveiling, which read: “Yep. We’ve got wood. And 2K+ other combos.” See what it did there? Motorola has wood…which actually refers to the wood cover option…not an actual erection. ALL THE HIGH FIVES FOR DOUBLE ENTENDRES, BRO.

And in keeping with the half-assed sex jokes (giggle), there was this one:

“Touch each other, not phones. Moto X responds to your voice, no touching necessary. (That’s what she said.)” WHICH DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE! Touch each other, not phones. No touching necessary—that’s what she said. WHAT?! And what does “that’s what she said” even mean? Because bitches hate sex. So what I’m getting out of this is that Motorola put its neighbor’s 12-year-old son in charge of its Moto X publicity campaign. Because the kid does such an awesome job at mowing Motorola’s lawn on the weekends, why wouldn’t he be great at marketing?

Motorola has since changed the entire wording of the ad to read: "Ready. Even when you're not. Moto X responds to your voice, no touching necessary."

This one is less offensive but equally irritating:


Trendy button-down shirt, bike chain and seat, old fashioned shaving brush and matching straight-edge razor, hair pomade…and the “kemosabe” reference. So Motorola is pandering to the stereotypical hipster.

But even this is better than the "Feminine Mystique" ad. Jesus, at least the guys' ad has cool stuff. The girls' ad? Pop rocks, pink socks, and a f*cking yoyo?! It's actually pretty amazing there's not a scrunchy in that ad.

What does all of this say about Motorola? It says that Motorola has no idea who buys smartphones. More specifically, it says that the creative agency that created these ads, Droga5, has no idea who buys smartphones. It also apparently has never seen or talked to a real-life woman ever, because clearly there was a meeting of a bunch of dudes to find out what women like, and some guy was like "sparkly shit and yoyos."

But someone at Motorola had to have seen these ads and signed off on them, right? That should be more than a little concerning to Google. How is Motorola going to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung if it’s already stooping to the lowest common denominator with dick jokes?

And for God's sake, will smartphone manufacturers please deal with their lady issues?

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