Report: Motorola prepared to spend upwards of $500 million on Moto X advertising


Moto_X_ad crop

A report from the WSJ today is helping us get an idea for exactly how serious Motorola will be taking their soon-to-be-released Moto X handset. To ensure the device is a hit with consumers, Motorola could be looking to spend upwards of $500 million to advertise the device. That’s nothing to sneeze at, especially coming from an underdog. By comparison, Apple spent $333 million and Samsung $401 million in the US to advertise their devices, and Motorola could be looking to trump those numbers. But will it work?

There’s no question Motorola will definitely be facing an uphill battle to claim the smartphone market share. However, Motorola remains optimistic despite  selling 2.3 million smartphones this year, accounting for only 1% of the global market. Of course, with the Moto X rumored to launch across all major carriers in the US (and Europe), anything is possible. Lord knows we could use some hefty competition in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple.

As we’re sure you’ve heard by now, the Moto X’s claim to fame is that it will be sold both in stores, and online directly from Motorola with the device can be customized (“designed”) by the customer with various colored front and back plates, along with specialty engravings. Because of the big bucks Motorola is prepared to spend on making sure everyone in the world knows about this device, wireless carriers are taking more of a hands-off approach on the device, where it’s said only a minimal amount of carrier “bloatware” will come preloaded on the Moto X.

Because of the device is assembled in the good ‘ol US of A, Motorola is in the unique position to offer this high level of customization to the consumer, while still providing for speedy shipping times. While we feel like the customizing aspect of the Moto X could be more of a gimmick, with the bulk of sales taking place in carrier retail stores. Hey, whatever helps spread the word. Good luck to ya, Motorola.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I am all for it, been wanting it since the first whisper. Minimal bloatware is a huge selling point.

    1. It’s not that huge of a selling point when you already have no bloatware on the nexus 4, and google version of the htc one and galaxy s. I’m not sure what this phone’s selling point will be. besides the different colors. The nexus 4 is cheap, the htc one has really good build quality, and the galaxy s has a huge vibrant screen.

      1. The problem is, you can’t get the Google Play edition HTC One or Galaxy S4 for $100 on-contract.

        The Moto X you can.

        1. I would consider getting it if the full retail price is sub $550.

          1. It will be hard to choose when the new droids will be beast. The G4 is consider a beast and it lags often. Specs are not always better :)

        2. Has the pricing been leaked or something ?

        3. If it’s under $300 full retail and it works on Verizon, I’m in.

        4. Moto will win the battle this year

      2. Dude those phones aren’t available on CDMA carriers including the largest carrier in the us. Get a clue

        1. Chill

      3. People are looking for prices. Look at the example of planet fitness, now it is the gym to go because it has good quality even though the free weight are only 60 pounds max

  2. Radios that can hold a signal stronger than any other maker. I’m in.

    1. YES. I don’t know why more people don’t realize how much of an asset Motorola’s radio quality is.

      1. I know why, its because Motorola hasn’t released a high end phone for anyone besides Verizon. so strictly mathematically speaking most people never even considered a Motorola phone to be an option.

        1. Motorola Atrix was top of the line when released on AT&T.

    2. Yes, by far the best radios in a smartphone that I’ve ever used. Just hope that Google can truly “right” the ship. From the rumored spec leaks on the Moto X, spending $500 million on advertising seems a ‘bit much, considering the specs are mid-range specs.

      1. The marketing wont only be for the Moto X but also for Motorola.
        Yes the advertisements wil only mention the Moto X but it wil also be of big benefit to other Motorola phones that are coming.

        Motorola hasnt had any big phone releases in a long time and in a lot of countrys their marketshare is extremely low.

        So them spending so much on advertising the Moto X is also to put the Motorola brand back on the map. Cause there is a big group of young people out there that dont know Motorola even makes phones.
        Here in the Netherlands if i go ask a random 18 year old to mention me some smartphone brands i doubt anyone wil say Motorola.

        The last few Motorola phones didnt really see much advertising in the Netherlands (if at all). All you see is HTC (hate that commercial), Sony and Samsung.

        1. Motorola’s marketshare in the US isn’t that big either. They’ve been in bed with Verizon exclusively for so many years. It wasn’t until the past couple years that Motorola started offering “high end” android smartphones for the other 3 major carriers in the US and the offerings weren’t near the caliber as Verizon offerings.

          That said, the article said specifically, “$500 million to market the device.” How does that translate to marketing Motorola in general or other devices made by Motorola? If that were the case, I’d say they’re not spending enough. If Google is trying to expand the brand to the world as a top tier choice worldwide, $500 million to expand an entire brand is very small. Apple and Samsung both spend in the billions.

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        It’s not that huge of a selling
        point when you already have no bloatware on the nexus 4, and google
        version of the htc one and galaxy s. I’m not sure what this phone’s
        selling point will be. besides the different colors. The nexus 4 is
        cheap, the htc one has really good build quality, and the galaxy s has a
        huge vibrant screen.

        1. I thought I told you yesterday your cousin is a whore!

      3. Well all we have a rumours. I still have slight hope that it’s a flagship.

      4. You misread the appeal of a mid-range device. High end (pricey) devices appeal mostly to the techie, gotta-have-the-best and early-adoper market segment. An inexpensive, customizable mi-range device has mass-market appeal. It stands to have more appeal to women. It can have wider appeal to teens. And it can generally appeal to anyone who wants a good, well performing phone without the price tag of a high end android of an iPhone.

        Don’t just the whole market based on your likes. Just the fact that you’re reading this means you’re probably not the target market for the X. You’re better fit the demographics for the Ultra.

        1. Ok. That doesn’t really make sense at all. Lower pricing can he obtained with high end specs. Google knows. Look at the Nexus 7 tablet.

          And if they plan on offering mid-range performance at low costs, how do they intend on making a profit after $500 million in marketing costs. Let’s say they sell at $99. That means 5 million units need to be sold just break even.

          And tell that to the 10 million people that bought the s4 or the millions that bought the htc one or note 2 even. Additionaly, if the general consumer is made to believe that the device will perform better than other competitor phones, but find out that it isn’t up to par with their previous smartphone, that means lots of returns.

          Consumers aren’t that ignorant, especially when it comes to current day tech purchases.

          1. “Consumers aren’t that ignorant, especially when it comes to current day tech purchases.”

            That’s assuming that everyone is a techie, most people don’t even know what version of Android they’re running.

          2. They do know one phone feeling slower than the other and one phone reponding better than the other. The general consumer doesn’t need to know the actual specs when other devices clearly perform better, just from testing the phone. Mid range specs will show a difference from top tier specs.

          3. We don’t even know the specs though, and we’ve had quad core phones come out this year that are labelled as mid rangers. Also it depends on optimisation, you’re assuming if they’re mid range specs that the phone will be noticeably slower but they’re gonna be running stock Android you don’t need high end specs for that.

          4. That is correct. That is why my 1st post clearly stated rumored spec leaks…lol

          5. Lower prices with higher end *technical* specs…maybe. Higher quality? Nope. Moto doesn’t make flimsy devices. They make things with good radios, solid battery performance, and devices that don’t shatter to pieces when dropped.

          6. I’m still confused on the point you’re trying to make. I want to re-emphasize the fact that I mentioned in my first post, all of my points are based off “rumored leaked specs.” The rumored leaked specs are dual-core processor w/ a 8mp camera. That, right away, triggers a red flag that this is being geared as a mid-range device (assuming those specs hold true). And going back to my example of the Nexus 7 (at the time of release) having high-end specs, very good build quality, and appealing to the masses with price tag, it really wouldn’t make sense to me that Motorola wouldn’t be able to follow suit under Google’s authority. I also want to re-emphasize the fact that my 1st post clearly stated how much I felt Motorola had the best radios of any smartphone I’ve owned. I’d say battery life as well, but I’m currently a Note 2 owner, so there’s no true comparison between that and my original Photon (which I loved, until Motorola abandoned it, much like the Atrix line for ATT). So, getting back to the point, I don’t recall mentioning anything about “higher quality,” but I guess that’s where you’re trying to clarify your original point? Again, I still don’t think that’s an excuse for Google. Of course, I’ll re-emphasize the fact that everything we’re discussing is purely based on rumors and speculation until Motorola/Google formally releases the phone. $500 million in advertising to try and convince the general consumer that they’re getting the best “bang-for-the-buck” device, that doesn’t really come close in performance to the higher end devices? And let’s not mix/mash Apple into this conversation as compared to the other big Android OEM’s. There are subsidized deals in the US all the time that make the initial device pricing very reasonable. Now, if you were trying to make the point that the Google Nexus 7 is “flimsy,” that’s an odd statement as Motorola is a Google company now and being marketed as such.

          7. It’s called a loss leader. Google can sell the Nexus at cost and make the money back at the Play Store.

          8. Ok, now that might be a valid point, but considering Motorola is a Google company now, and marketed as such, are you saying that the main difference is having to sell through the providers? I can definitely understand that point and would definitely agree.

    3. when you get out where the towers are skimpy and you’re smashing portals on #ingress, there’s only one device to be using, MOTOROLA.

      the new MOTO X is going to fill some big shoes if it’s going to trump my DROID RAZR MAXX.

      1. Word. My RAZR let’s me hack and link from under the bridges, inside concrete buildings and otherwise “dead zones”. I envy your MAXX battery life though, I have to go back to a wall charger after 2 hours of non-stop action.

  3. MAN THAT’S WHAT I CALLED POWER in advertising. i hope they release a FULL PIC N DEMO of their phone soon

  4. Hey, someone’s finally catching on.

  5. $199/$599 on contract for a mid-range phone? when you can get the One and S4 for that or less depending on carrier…I really hope either the rumored specs or rumored pricing is wrong

    1. No, no, no.. The WSJ article just mentioned that $200/$599 is the going rate for other devices. I know, I had to read it over a few times.

    2. I’ve heard that the Moto X will cost between $200 and $300 off contract.

    3. i couldnt agree more this is such an epic fail

  6. Yes. That will work. That’s how the GS3 became so famous. People found out about it.

  7. They can just give out a million phones to us and we will spread the word.

    1. Grassroots marketing… I like it. O_o

  8. how about they waste that money to give us better hardware on the phone

    1. If they give us better hardware then it won’t be a waste.

      1. very true >.>

    2. This device will be the device of the decade. Moto is making a comeback :)

      1. way to be optimistic

    3. Right, because what makes a company profitable is selling their product to a few 100 geeks who care about the products inner workings, as opposed millions of people who don’t.

  9. I was so excited for this thing… But that Xperia ZL! Gotta catch ’em all I guess…

  10. I hate everything this phone stands for.

    1. shut the hell up ignorant

      1. How dare you be so rude, you nasty rascal.

      2. Hey everyone! It’s AnGeLFaG77, back again to defend the honour of the Moto X! Armed only with his extraordinary power of incomplete sentences and lack of punctuation, AnGeLDouche77 will meekly fight against anyone with a dissenting opinion! Motorola is lucky to have you on their side good sir.

        We all know how excited you are for this phone. Now, even you can own it after only 2 months of lay-away! Plus, you can choose a frilly pink cover to match your enormous vagina.

        1. Are you still hiding on your mother closet? Your sensente and your punctuation sucks. This is not a writing class fool. Motorola and google will take over the world enough said go back to Africa.

          1. *in

            Kid, you’re just embarrassing yourself.

  11. I like the idea behind the phone. I just wish the specs were better. When everyone and their brother is moving to 1080p screens, I just can’t help but feel 720p is a mistake. Even if there’s not much difference to the naked eye.

    1. The specs have not been announced yet.

    2. You are a tool

  12. Apple has sold millions of mid-range phones with out-dated technology…if you have flashy commercials the minions won’t know the difference. Apple is becoming obsolete and Googlerola is taking over their approach.

    1. That’s how Samsung beat Apple at their own game marketing , plus the galaxy series even crickets have it lol

      1. lol it wasnt even Apple’s game… its every business’ game… for some reason phone OEM’s until recently just thought that they didnt need to advertise in the competitive smartphone industry

        1. Apple have been doing that for years. Not to defense Apple, but the first Galaxy was an imitation of the iphone 3. Samsung is copying apple still.

          1. nah i understand the first galaxy was copy design wise, but i’m saying when it comes to marketing, businesses in every field advertise and that’s how you build awareness for your product. Other mobile companies advertised too but they just never dedicated so much money towards it.

    2. I’d rather go with Mo-torola + Go-ogle = Moogle because hopefully they will start herding cows instead of sheep :P

  13. this is going to flop. Hard.

  14. According to Android Central the $500 Million are the combined budget for the US *and* Europe.

    Unless they plan to spend only very little on marketing in the EU they won’t trump Apples or Samsungs marketing budget.

  15. 80% of phone buyers could care less about specs. Does it do what they want? If the Moto Phone looks cool and performs as smoothly as the iPhone it will be compared to it, then it all comes down to the advertizing. (No advertizing can overcome a bad working phone, word of mouth will kill it)

    Apple’s adds have always been excellent, and generally beat the competition in quality, appeal and focus. However, Samsung’s recent campaigns have been spectacular. The Galaxy S III ads were a masterpiece of concept, writing, casting and film-work. It was the first competing campaign that made Apple’s attempts look dated and off putting. The agency was dead on when they recognized how much Apple’s consumers look forward to the “next best thing” coming in the Apple future. Converting that to “it’s already here” was very good. So far, the GS4 adds have not been as striking.

    As a user of Motorola communications equipment for decades, and current RAZR Maxx user, I look forward to checking out the X phone. If it comes up to my standards I’ll get it.

  16. Hire a copy editor.

  17. If they really are prepared to spend that much then Moto really came to play. Get in there!

  18. Motorola Forever ! I can not wait for this device. We will be king once again.

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