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Selling the X: Motorola won’t outspend Samsung. Focus on fashion, music, and interactive displays

A top marketing exec (formerly with Samsung) talked about Motorola’s plans for marketing the Moto X, which include in-store displays that change their color depending on the outfit of passersby.
August 5, 2013
Moto X
Moto X in Wood

Remember those Galaxy S3 ads that mocked the Apple fanboys standing in line to buy iPhones? They were pretty effective, sales have shown, and they contributed to the fulminant rise of the Galaxy brand in 2012. Mike Wallace, the mastermind behind the Galaxy S3 marketing campaign, left Samsung for Motorola in December 2012, and he is now in charge with selling the new Moto X. Will he manage to make the Moto X look as hip as the Galaxy S3 was last year?

In a talk with AdAge, Mike Wallace offered some interesting insight into Motorola’s marketing strategy for the Moto X.

Design, music, and fashion

Unsurprisingly, Motorola is betting heavily on the design features of the Moto X, and is planning to sell it more like a fashion accessory than a piece of technology. Wallace said that current phones are “the most impersonal things” people use every day, and that Motorola wants to change that with a “design it yourself” philosophy.

To sell the X, Motorola is working to arrange tie-ups with noted musicians, with a focus on electronic music. The popular electronic music DJ and producer Kaskade, who performed at the Moto X launch party last week, is one of example of hip artist that Motorola wants to be associated with.

Sensors will tell that a nearby viewer is wearing a yellow outfit and change the color of the Moto X accordingly.

Motorola will also heavily market the Moto X to women, by promoting the device in the fall editions of fashion magazines and on Pinterest, the up and coming social network that is especially popular with women.

Another weapon in Motorola’s arsenal will be interactive outdoors and in-store displays that react to the presence of persons nearby. The color of the Moto X will change depending on the outfit of passersby. For instance, sensors will tell that a nearby viewer is wearing a yellow outfit and change the color of the Moto X accordingly.

It’s not about the money

Wallace denied earlier reports about the huge marketing budget for the Moto X, saying that Motorola won’t outspend Samsung or Apple, “not by a longshot”. A Wall Street Journal report from July stated that Google set apart up to $500 million for the Moto X marketing campaign, much more than the $333 million and $407 million that Apple and Samsung spent on ads in 2012.

[quote qtext=”We’re not going to be outspending Apple and Samsung, not by a long shot. And honestly, that’s okay. This isn’t about money, it’s not about budgets. This is about trying to outsmart and have a unique value proposition that will resonate with consumers.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Personally, I think that Motorola’s strategy for the Moto X is brilliant. Many Android manufacturers have largely focused on the technology-oriented, young, male population, especially in the US, leaving huge categories of potential customers underserved. Motorola appears to be marketing the Moto X as a universal device, that would appeal to everyone, regardless of age, gender, or technology inclinations. That’s how Apple sells millions of iPhones in the United States, and Motorola clearly wants a piece of that pie.