A few days ago we showed you a new ad that’s making fun of Apple, the iPhone 5, and the new Apple Maps in particular. The ad came from Google’s Motorola encouraging users to pick the Droid RAZR M instead of the new iPhone 5, as the latter, dubbed #iLost in the ad, would not be able to show you the “real world.”
The ad, which was posted also on Motorola’s Google+ page, had the following status:
Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan? Google Maps on Droid RAZR M will get you there & not #iLost in Brooklyn.
In addition to the text, Motorola used the comparison picture between Apple Maps on the new iPhone and Google Maps on the new RAZR that we have already showed you. The RAZR displayed the correct address while the iPhone showed a “315 Marlborough Rd.” instead.
There’s certainly nothing wrong there, especially given the circumstances, as this wouldn’t be the first commercial in which one company is saying its product is better than the competition. As for the circumstances, Google Maps is better than Apple Maps at this point in time, and we’ve seen so far countless proofs that Apple Maps is not yet a complete product. Google has been improving its mapping and navigation app for years, while Apple has just begun to deploy its own similar solution, so it’s clear who the winner between the two would be, at least for the time being.
So why are we talking again about an ad and Google+ update that went viral a week ago? Because it looks like Google/Motorola messed up and faked the whole thing, according to a new report.
CNET and AppleInsider have revealed that there’s actually no 315 E. 15th Street in Manhattan. In fact, that address points to a park. In the past, there was a 315 E. 15th Street in New York City, but that street was renamed Marlborough Road more than one hundred years ago, in 1905. Furthermore, typing “318 E. 15th St., NY” (same street) would get you to the right address. CNET writes:
What's ironic, then, is that in suggesting that Apple Maps is unable to find a simple address in Manhattan, Motorola might well have actually be highlighting two contradictory points. First, that Apple's Maps actually does the right thing when you ask it to find 315 E. 15th St. in New York, and second, that Google's own maps service takes you to an invalid address when you enter those coordinates.
Whether or not Motorola's anti-Apple Maps attack contains deliberate misdirection, as it were, people seem to have noticed problems with the ad. As the top comment on Motorola's Google+ post put it today, “So Google is now in the BS business? I guess if your product doesn't speak loudly enough for itself, you could always lie about your competitor's product.”
Once people realized that Apple Maps is not the complete product users thought it would be, the web was filled with error reports, funny pictures and Apple Maps memes. They’re all hilarious and Apple shouldn’t be surprised to see the competition milking the whole thing for as long as it lasts.
So with all these errors that are probably easy to replicate, why did Google/Motorola have to fake it? Was it that difficult to prove that Apple Maps is not as good as Google Maps?
This is the second ad from an Android device maker that could backfire – following the Galaxy S3 Facebook status update that promoted the iPhone – so maybe next time these marketing departments will make sure they do it right.