Verizon/Droid “Big D”

Maybe “smart” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After all, smart people (albeit misguided smart people) were largely responsible for bringing the world’s financial system to its knees last year. Under the circumstances, it’s not surprising if the prestige of smartness isn’t what it used to be. This spot for Verizon’s new Droid cell phone (via mcgarrybowen) taps into this wariness of smartness for smartness’ sake, explicitly saying that “instead of a smartphone, you need a robot phone.” And it hammers away (literally, as you’ll see when you view the spot) at the blue-collarish theme of the Droid as “a phone that does” — indeed, as “a bare-knuckled bucket of does.” (But I guess they decided against “Just does it” as a slogan.) The imagery of the spot is all about muscular, physical action. We don’t see pencil-necked “symbolic analysis” cradling phones as they run the numbers on abstract concepts; we see things being pounded. Of course, it’s not as though they’re selling a stupidphone here, and the voiceover makes sure to say that Droid runs thousands of Android apps. Even here, though, it sustains the physical theme by saying the phone does so “with axle-greased ease.” The potential pitfall of such an approach is that it could come across as too much brawn and not enough brains. There are moments when you feel you’re watching a spot for some tie-in between pro wrestling and a brand of pickup truck. Still, it’ll get viewers’ attention. And maybe it will create a rapport with white-collar types who secretly wish they were a bit more muscular themselves. –Mark Dolliver