Goodby’s Goddess Misplaces Motorola Q

LOS ANGELES A goddess loses her cell phone in an alley in Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ first TV effort for Motorola’s cell phones.

In the 30-second spot directed by RSA’s Jake Scott, a young man picks up the new model phone lying in a street, causing strange things to happen: The clouds part and the sun darts across the sky. The Q cell phone indicates six million e-mails, and when the man pushes for a dial tone, he is transported to an Edenic glade. A celestial sonic-boom “Hello?” emanates from the sky. The spot cuts to “heaven,” where a goddess searches for her phone as her aide mutters, “Not again.” The cell phone appears with a title (“Let there be Q”), and a disembodied pair of female lips on the screen says, “Hello, Moto.”

The print and outdoor components of the “Let there be Q” campaign began breaking in late May.

“If God had a cell phone, this would be it,” said Rich Silverstein, principal at the San Francisco agency. “And she loses it like everyone else. There is so much more to it beyond being a useful product. It has so much more spirit than a business machine like a Blackberry. It has speakers, it plays music, and it is a phone by the way.

“Q was a natural evolution of coming from the Razr, an amazingly interesting device,” Silverstein added. “And this next product makes them hipper, takes them out of the boardroom and into the bloodstream of everybody.”

Silverstein said Motorola’s creative director, Elena Panizza, has “kept the flag waving for [former CMO] Geoffrey Frost,” who started the “Hello, Moto” campaign before he died last fall of an apparent heart attack at the age of 55 [Brandweek Online, Nov. 21, 2005]. “[Frost] started a great style and she wanted to evolve what we’ve done.”

Silverstein indicated the allusion to the afterlife following Frost’s death is coincidental, but added that he hoped Frost would like it. “We didn’t want to let Geoffrey down,” Silverstein said.

The campaign’s execution involved a new mix of personnel, Silverstein said, “a perfect storm of creativity” including creative director Guy Seese, who recently came to Goodby from Cole & Weber in Seattle, art director Frank Aldorf and copywriter Will Elliott, working together as a team for the first time.

Libertyville, Ill.-based Motorola spent $50 million advertising cell phones in 2005 and $10 million in the first quarter of 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.