Droid: The official phone of the He Man Woman Haters Club

Back in 2008, I wrote a blog commenting on the tendency of vendors to market to women by simply coloring their products pink. I wondered whether vendors thought their female customers were gender caricatures. Now I know. They think all their customers are gender caricatures. Or idiots. Or both. 

As reported on the ReadWriteWeb blog, according to AdMod's January 2010 Mobile Metrics Report, the proportion of male to female owners of Android devices -- 73% male to 27% female -- is far greater than the proportion of male-to-female for other mobile platforms. Why? Well, part of the reason may be because Motorola marketed its Droid smartphone as though it was the official device of the He Man Woman Haters Club.

Now, I was aware of some of the Droid's marketing weirdness when I was first considering buying one. One evening, when my partner and I were driving on the the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a major thoroughfare in the NYC area, we spotted a huge sign with an image of a robot hand and the words: "Droid Does." We whiled away several minutes trying to figure out exactly what it was that the Droid did. (That is, after we figured out that the sign wasn't promoting a new movie about robotic female deer.) 

However, I managed to miss the full onslaught of the testosterone-heavy advertising. That is, until the AdMod report came out. I was especially intrigued by the commercial that I caught when reading Gizmodo.

So, according to the ad, the Droid isn't "a tiara-wearing digitally-clueless beauty-pageant queen" but is instead "racehorse duck-taped to a SCUD-missile fast." (That poor horse.) It's also "the phone that trades hairdo for can-do."

In other words: This phone doesn't have girl cooties. It's for da boys. It's kewl.

My first question is: Did all this male-directed advertising actually sell more Droids? Did the over-the-top approach really work? Was this campaign responsible for how well the Droid sold?


Or did the Droid sell because it was an interesting, well-engineered (for the most part) smartphone with an innovative OS? And is it possible that the campaign drove a portion of the potential market toward other phones because they were more interested in buying a useful, technically advanced product than a souped-up manmobile? 

My second question is: Since I'm obviously not part of Verizon and/or Motorola's marketing scheme, does that mean I have to give my Droid back? Would it help if I simply disguised it (as here, with a do-it-yourself skin from Gelaskins)?

Or maybe I should go all out and paint it pink.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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