Do Android ads make you feel like you’re being molested by robots? [VIDEO]


They say laughter is nature’s greatest cure, and while I can’t say it’s helped me shake off a few common colds it does bring a lot of bright moments in otherwise dull and boring days. That’s why I couldn’t help but watch this clip that was sent to my inbox earlier today. Comedian Dan Ahdoot did a set at the Laugh Factory recently, and one of his segments was regarding mobile advertisements.

Specifically, Dan touched on how the iPhone ads created this perfect, loving world where Siri could somehow tell if your wife was pregnant or not. Meanwhile, he likened watching an Android commercial to being molested by robots after being slipped a couple of roofies in a dark alley.

There’s an obvious negative connotation which comes with Dan’s description of what he sees, and it’s clear his last impression of Android ads are a bit outdated. He’s likely referring to Verizon’s primitive DROID ads when the original Motorola DROID launched back in 2009. Verizon boasted about circular saws cutting through bananas and all sorts of craziness.

Things are a bit different these days, though. For instance, Samsung — the most iconic and influential Android manufacturer there is — has taken a much more lighthearted (and humorous) approach for its Galaxy line. Verizon’s own-produced ads for its DROID line are still a tad aggressive in tone, but not nearly as dark, cryptic or robotic as they once were.

Perhaps I’m over-thinking this, but it’s tough to swallow the idea that people still allow simple 30 minute ad spots to dictate their perception of a phone without doing any research of the phone itself. This guy was only out to make a joke, of course, but it does raise interesting questions regarding how the world perceives Android in this day and age.

How do you feel about it? Do Android ads make you want to take self defense classes or do they simply make you want to buy a phone? Take a look at the short clip above (I thought it was a bit funny, but your mileage may vary) and let us know in the comments below!

[Thanks Justin!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Ads should demonstrate a feature set and real world use, like Apple and Samsung. Not like the old DROID ads, which were cool but useless. I don’t let ads change what phone I want to buy, but most people do. So they gotta do em right.

    1. An example is the droid dna commercial

  2. As both my wife & I like the Samsung commercials, the VZW Droid ones are another story. I asked her how she likes the newest one for the DNA – it actually made her very uncomfortable.

    This goes right back to VZW doing what THEY think the public wants, just like how they ‘modify’ all of their devices for the worse. VZW seriously needs to wake up & stop their crap!

    1. but it does raise interesting questions regarding how the world perceives Android in this day and age. But what do I know, I own an iPhone.

  3. I believe you meant to say 30 “seconds” ad spots :)

  4. Verizon ads are over the top. Even nerds feel violated.

  5. What gets me is 99.9% of the ads I see I will never buy that product, if you run an ad and bother me with it, I just won’t buy that product. Do ads work? Not on me, they get a negative reaction.
    VZW bloatware is getting pretty ridiculous, wife and I said next time we go to VZW store to shop for a phone we will ask the salesperson if it has VZW apps, if the answer is yes complain very loudly and leave without buying and state once they remove the crap we will buy.
    VZW has to get the message, it has gone to far.

    1. LOL that’ll be quite the scene, but I’m pretty sure the Verizon clerks won’t do anything but laugh and go about their day. And I can pretty much guarantee the next Android smartphone you get will be littered with bloatware unless you are going to get an iPhone.

    2. I did a similar thing at a windows store. Told the 5th sales guy to talk to me that I didn’t like WP and thought it was butt ugly. He laughed and handed me and my buddy 25% off coupons. Too bad I was being genuine and would never buy their crap.

  6. Verizon ads are the worst… The original Droid ad was genius… Why they didn’t continue that I can’t imagine… Samsung has pretty much taken the mantle of illustrating what the competition can’t do… And they sell a ton of phones

    1. maybe because android phones now have irreplaceable batteries, no qwerty keyboard, not even open-development? It’s so sad how the most influential Android partner, Samsung, has turned this brand into a “me-too” Apple copycat.

      1. And what about Google? The Nexus line isn’t exactly helping matters…

        1. You’re right. My bad for singling out Samsung. But everyone else is following Apple’s steps. It’s a hard pill to swallow, just like Flash on Mobile. Apple (Steve Jobs) got it right.

      2. What do you mean about Android not having open development?

        1. Thank you for asking for a clarification rather than assuming I have “no idea what I’m talking about”.

          I meant the locked bootloaders of phones, mostly the Droid line from Verizon. The post was referring to the DROID DOES campaign, that clearly touted “open development” as a strength of the Android ecosystem on the OG DROID. Clearly, it was a point of differentiation from the iPhone that Verizon (which coincidentally did not carry it until early 2010) used for Android, which also includes “interchangeable batteries”, “a real keyboard”, etc. Most of these are in the distant past.

          Now fast forward to 2012, and every single phone are coming out with integrated batteries, no SD cards (Google’s decision on the Nexus line, as Chris pointed out), onscreen keyboards, and Motorola devices are being locked down by the carrier.

          Android still has open development; of course it does. It’s open source. But you don’t have to look too far to find examples of how this “open development” has come under fire recently (See: Galaxy Nexus or Droid devices on VZW). The OG Droid came with an unlocked bootloader; every single Droid afterwards was locked down.

          This is what I wanted to point out when the OP asked why the Original DROID DOES “iDont” commercial ceased to exist on air in one form or another. They can’t tout features that are non-existent. They can’t make fun of the iPhone anymore when everything that the iPhone had in 2008, the Android phones of 2012 have.


          PS: just got my INGRESS INVITE. Suckas.

          1. Roger dodger, thanks for the clarification. I agree that it is frustrating and disheartening to see Verizon’s Android devices becoming more closed regarding bootloaders being locked increasingly often. But that’s not Android’s fault.

            Also, I think the Nexus line should be given more credit. Yes, the LG Nexus 4 does not have a removable battery or SD card. Phones in the Nexus family are amazingly open when it comes to software (at least the Galaxy Nexus and LG Nexus 4, these are the only two Nexus phones I own). The fact that you can toggle on “Wifi Tethering” in the settings menu, without having to root your phone, is amazing to me.

            Hopefully in two weeks at CES, someone announces a phone with an unlocked bootloader, removable battery, SD card, and bare Android…

          2. Obviously you’re not a part of the rooting community, otherwise you would know a locked bootloader has NEVER been an issue. There has and will always be a way around them. The reason Verizon and others have chosen to put out phones with locked bootloaders is because they got tired of idiots blindly rooting their devices without bothering to know what their doing, then returning them as defective when it was simply “soft bricked”. That has costed Verizon millions of dollars to refurbish them and repackage them for sale.
            There are way too many people out there rooting their phones because they think it makes them cool, when they’re too stupid to bother reading up on what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve asked “why do you want to root your device” and they tell me “so I can customize it”. In this day and age, there are 101 ways to customize your phone without rooting it. But Johnny sees Billy doing it and wants to jump off the same cliff. The iPhone was MADE for these kind of people.

          3. Points taken. Verizon has its reasons on locking those phones. But we can’t anymore say that Android is better because it has “open development” on a nationwide TV ad, because the very line (DROID) of phones that first touted that advantage, are now swinging the way of the locked bootloaders.

            Or maybe because, only really a handful of people care. lol.

            Sorry, I need to bring this back on topic: “The original Droid ad was genius… Why they didn’t continue that I can’t imagine..”

      3. You have no idea what you’re taking about.

        1. You have no idea what I’m talking about either.

  7. I love Samsung commercials. VZW ads just touts the exterior and the branding of their Droid line. Nothing more.

  8. this dude want funny at all. i do agree though, Verizon ads suck and do nothing to actually tell you about the product.

  9. Many don’t realize that Droid is a brand of Android phones, rather than a short name referencing all Android devices.

  10. This has always been my complaint about the Verizon Droid ads. They are a complete turnoff, particularly to women like myself. The Samsung ads, on the other hand, have been brilliant.

  11. It’s a joke, if delivered well. I haven’t watched, but IMO the premise is funny.

    Don’t take comedy seriously. He’s just trying to make people laugh.

    1. ^This. I think it’s funny that phandroid is trying to defend android against this comedian’s jokes. They’re just jokes man, laugh it up.

  12. SO many phandroids want to grab Verizon’s ad execs and by the neck and shake them. ITS NOT WORKING, DUDE.

  13. I’m almost positive he was referencing Last years Nexus Ad with the Ninja and the ad from t-mobile about their network being faster having carly on the motorcycle blazing right by AT&T and The verizon Droid trademark sound. Verizon is a dark company of course they are going to be dark with their ads. T-mobile was trying to get right and put it out there that they are no slouch of course they are on the offensive striking jabs. Google is just trying to do whatever the heck they are trying to do by putting ninjas in the equation.

  14. Those droid ads were definitely dumb. Are they still running them in US? I mean this guy is talking about Siri in the video, which is pretty recent.

    Google itself has been making great ads for their services and nexus products lately, though. Hopefully that transfers to Motorola.

  15. honestly, it couldn’t matter less to me. but i hope the ads aren’t really 30 minutes.. that would waay cut into my stories.

  16. I assumed he was referring to that new Droid commercial where the phone like merges with the guy in his chest or whatever. I have never gotten that impression but I can see where some may.

  17. He’s getting an iPhone instead of a “Droid”…

    Clearly shows he’s educated.

  18. omg i lol’ed hard.

  19. I agree with him. Verizon DROID commercials are on all the time and except for the original og DROID commercial, they all are mostly robotic and cold feeling, even the new ones, like the HTC DROID dna one. I much prefer commercials that show what the phone can do to connect people like the Google nexus commercials or samsung commercials

  20. I’ve got tons of iphone users as friends and haven’t once seen a siri interaction as smooth as 1/4 of what’s in his bit.

  21. I remember thinking the first commercials for the OG Droid were pretty awesome and they made me want that phone. After that, I didn’t really care for them. Lots of specs and robots and nothing showing me what can me done with it. The new Razr M commercials showing off Google Now aren’t that bad though.

  22. Love my Droid! Go Galaxy S3!

  23. I think the new Droid DNA commercial is gross. It actually bothers me. “Upgrading brain to a quad-core processor” as they splice the guy’s DNA with black and red VZW nastiness? Ew. It’s the first 1080p display available in the US and they focus on merging it with your genetic makeup? Upgrading your brain to a computer?

    I think a lot more people would buy it if they just said “most beautiful screen!”

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