There I sat during the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles game in complete awe.  No, it was not the fact that my Giants looked like a middle school football team.  Instead, it was that I saw a particular smartphone commercial played several times on Monday Night Football.  It was the new LG Nexus 5X commercial and it kind of blew me away.  It was fantastic.

So I got to thinking about the current state of smartphone marketing and adverts.  Who is doing well?  Who needs to get a few things sorted out?  Should I post something on mobileFreq?  Yeah I should.

Let’s have a commercial conversation.


This was the LG Nexus 5X commercial that I saw for the first time…on Monday Night Football of all places.  It apparently came out three weeks ago and I happened to catch it for the first time on America’s biggest tv-viewing nights of the week.  This means that most of the population did as well.

I’m going to get right to it.  This commercial in my honest opinion is fantastic.

It does not have a ton of things going on to distract you from the main points.  They keep it simple and highlight the reasons you’d want this Nexus (as if the name itself doesn’t already do that).

They used a popular background song that, again, does not distract.  Without even needing lyrics you knew exactly what song it is.  It’s easy to listen to and complements the information.  It’s refreshing.

Google started right off with “nexus” stretching across your display.  They want to really make this a household name.  I wonder if they have been frustrated over the past several years with OEMs dropping the ball on marketing for some of their flagships and thus tarnishing the Android brand?

Maybe this is a new Google we are seeing.  Maybe they are stepping up and trying to clearly make Android and Nexus synonymous with Google.  For too long consumers have wanted the iPhone or the Galaxy and not associating Samsung with Android.

Do I dare say it?  Google seems to finally be taking the Apple route for advertisements.  It seems very apparent with the gray “Google” on a plain white background to finish it off.

Simple colors.  Simple information.  Simple music.  Simple message.  A memorable commercial.

Let’s throw in the Huawei Nexus 6P in here for good measure!

I really hope this is something of a great new rebirth for Google.


Well I just talked about how Google is becoming more “Appley” with their commercials.  Let’s see if Apple is sticking to their roots or if they are going down a different path.

This commercial is actually pretty good.  Even if you are a self-proclaimed Apple hater, you have to admit that they do a lot of things right with an iPhone commercial.

Instead of blasting you with specs and stats, in classic Apple fashion they showcase what you can actually do with the iPhone.  Real uses.  Cool uses.

They have celebrities in the commercial for endorsements, but also actors portraying normal middle class folk like us.  Apple does a great job of making the iPhone a device that everyone can relate to.

The music is a bit more hectic than the Nexus 5X, but it complements the action and fast-paced commercial well.  No crazy lyrics getting in the way of the narrator.  Apple has always nailed the music side of things and continue to do so.

Oh and they continue to use that same background song for other iPhone 6s commercials.  You wouldn’t have to be looking at the television and you could tell that it is “the iPhone commercial”.  They drill it into your head which is a good thing from a marketing perspective.

The only thing I cannot wrap my head around is the new slogan.

“The only thing that’s changed is everything.”

I cannot be the only one who gets extra wrinkles on his forehead trying to read that.  It just seems like a very odd thing to promote.

They know that they release ‘s’ versions that don’t aesthetically change from the previous year.  I’m not sure why they are proud of that.

It just seems sort of arrogant like their previous attempt at marketing the iPhone.

Again, pretty much a great commercial.  It’s simple.  It explains what separates them from the competition in layman’s terms.  It’s factual.

“If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

No kidding Apple?

Here’s their last commercial that I feel is the most accurate and least pompous.

I hope they get their copywriters in check and turn it around for the next wave of iPhone 6s commercials.


How can I talk about two of the big three and not mention Microsoft?  Well I mean Windows Phone.  Actually Nokia.  No wait I meant Lumia.

Whatever and whoever you want to call them, I’ll just get right to posting the latest commercial that showcases a smartphone running an operating system that is Windows 10 mobile.

Microsoft, you made one fine commercial for the upcoming Lumia 950 and 950 XL.  I really like it.

They decided to go the Nexus 5X route and show off the device[s] from several camera angles and different methods of motion with simple information about the device.  However, they one-upped Google by actually simulating the software and hardware in use.

It kicks into overdrive when the “drop” happens for that EDM song.  Microsoft animated the 950 being plugged into the monitor and becoming a desktop “PC”.  If you want to grab an audience’s attention I’m pretty sure that is how you do it.

Finishing the whole thing up with a non-bashing-the-competition slogan and Microsoft pretty much nailed it.  I’ve said it for the past few months…I think Microsoft is the “new cool”.

Good job, Microsoft.


You probably wondered when I’d eventually hit Samsung.  How could I not?  Their marketing is INSANE.  Insane meaning they pump oodles of cash into their advertising campaigns to really drive home the point that they are the only alternative to Apple.

They practically make you forget that Android is even a thing.

Here is a perfect example.

Galaxy can wirelessly charge.  iPhone cannot.  Galaxy can wirelessly charge.  iPhone cannot.  Get the drift?

Samsung does a great job of drilling a single aspect of their Galaxy lineup into your skull.

Another “great” thing that they do is constantly bash on Apple.  Again, I want to make sure that you know Samsung is the better/only alternative to Apple.

The commercial ends with a retort to Apple’s new slogan “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone”.

“It’s not a phone, it’s a Galaxy

Well yeah it IS a phone, Samsung, but I get where you’re going with it and honestly it’s arbitrarily better than Apple’s.

You know what is also better than Apple?  Samsung.

Here we go again!

This time it is Samsung’s classic “Cocky Guy” narrator.  We all know his voice.

Thirty seconds of non-stop Apple bashing.  To be fair, Samsung does show off the unique features that set it apart from the competition.

Then they top it off with a slogan that I’m actually fond of.

6 > 6″

Sammy goes on to explain that, “Not all smartphones are created equal” and I’d have to agree.  I think it is a better way of getting your little jab in at the competition.


LG does technically make the Nexus 5X, but that one was all Google.  Let’s take a look at an LG G4 commercial instead.

LG decides to highlight their use of leather in this particular commercial.  I’ve seen this one on television quite a bit.

It does do a good job of grabbing your attention…once you realize the leather is for a smartphone.  The first ten seconds are almost wasted just setting you up for that bit.  That is 1/3 of the entire commercial.

After that LG gets right into it with your “typical” commercial.  They also incorporate a sophisticated song that complements the fine craftsmanship well and have a slogan that is only about the G4.

“See the Great, Feel the Great.”

The word “See” can mean looking at the gorgeous display.  It can mean looking at the beautiful design of the G4.  It can also mean looking at the superb pictures that the camera takes.

The word “Feel” obviously is describing the leather back plates that are available for the G4.  It is going to feel like no other device in your hand.  It’s more than just looks.

Not bad at all, LG.  It describes the LG G4 perfectly.


Here comes Moto, the company that Android enthusiasts adore.  Well I think they still do.  I’m not quite sure anymore since the Lenovo acquisition.

Motorola I feel is the true “Apple” of the android world due to how they market and design their Moto X and Moto G.

Let’s take a look.

After watching that you would have to be made of stone to not have a warm, good feeling inside you.  It’s one of the only commercials that put a smile on my face.  I feel happy after watching it.


Because Motorola made it about me.  Well they made it about you.  All of us.  They tell the consumers right from the get-go that, “You deserve the perfect partner.”

Stop right there.  This isn’t a phone.  It’s your partner.  This always-listening device companion is there to help make your life easier.

Getting back to it, Motorola starts to tell you why it will make your life easier with simple bits of information complemented by fun animations.

Probably my favorite part is when it gets to the octa-core processor.  That’s all Motorola says about the X Play…that it simply has an octa-core processor and with the rocket ship animation you can be assured it is fast.

The other highlight of their commercial?  Motorola is the only one that specifically mentions Android and boasts that it is one of the reasons for buying their device.  Complete 180 of Samsung.

They go on to showcase how its the only phone that you can truly make your own by customizing the entire build.

Finally, Motorola finishes with one of the best slogans from any of the smartphone manufacturers.

“Choose the phone that loves you back.”

Again, this isn’t just some phone that is a soulless piece of hardware.  It has life to it and it will always be there for you.  Some may think it is rather cheesy, but I think it is the modest slogan out there.  It’s just nice.

 The overall commercial makes you feel like a kid again.  It’s cute and peppy with its distraction-free music.

Motorola’s marketing did incredibly well.  Good job guys and gals.


We just did Moto, might as well do their Mama!

I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen a Lenovo smartphone commercial on television or anywhere else.  This was the first time I saw one…when I specifically went on YouTube and searched for “Lenovo Vibe commercial”.

You know what though?  They did a pretty good job with this.

The Lenovo Vibe Shot is all about the camera and that is exactly what they advertised.  After watching it I “knew”, as a consumer, that this phone was the one to get if I consider myself a photographer.

Lenovo brought out the big guns for this one too.  Not an actress from the latest Oscar-winning film.  Not a singer from American Idol.  Not even an athlete who makes $20 million a year.

They opted for Hannah Reyes.


She isn’t a household name and that is what brings more weight to the commercial.

She is a creative photographer for the National Geographic Channel.  If you don’t know, NatGeo is pretty much the gold standard of non-fiction educational articles that have some of the best photos in the world.  Their staff is the best of the best.

If Hannah is willing to associate her name with the Vibe Shot then you know it must be good.

With  inspiring music and a narration that all of us can relate to, Lenovo did wonders with this commercial for a product most Americans probably know nothing about.  They really need to get more of their commercials out there!


Only two more, I promise.  I know it’s been long.

Sony’s offering isn’t bad, but it isn’t quite my favorite.  Maybe I am being harder on them because I expect more from them considering my current device is a Sony Z3v…and my next device will be a Sony Z5.

The visuals are stunning and the music is electrifying.

They really really REALLY want to make sure that you know the Sony Z5 Premium is the first smartphone in the world with a 4K display.  It is repeated about three or four times.

It certainly makes it known that the Z5 Premium is a high-end device.  Heck I’d say that it’s probably the flagship of flagships after watching this.

Sony shows off a few other features, but they don’t jump out at you like the 4K does.

On the other hand they make the normal Z5 commercial a bit more balance.

Again, this was the first time seeing the Z5 commercial after I searched for it on YouTube.

They know how to make an absolutely perfect Android device, but they seem to completely forget to market it outside of Japan.  If they can figure out how to get their commercials on American television multiple times a day, then they would be at the top.  Unfortunately they just don’t.


Finally we have HTC.  HTC has been up and down for the past few years.  Recently their One M9 commercials were pretty lackluster.  I used to be the biggest HTC fanboy in the world having owned an Droid Incredible, 8X, and One m7.

The only commercial I’ve ever consistently seen on television (or anywhere for that matter) for the One M9 are the “Uh Oh! Protection” ones.  Those are only to promote their service and not the device itself.  Maybe it was due to them marginally upgrading the One M8’s design and disappointing several Android enthusiasts.

Honestly I don’t even want to post that commercial.  I don’t like it and I feel like they put minimal effort into it.  It had zero creativity.  It was bland.  The service itself is great though, I will admit.

So let’s showoff the most recent device.  The HTC One A9.  A phone that has already been met with some criticism for looking like an iPhone and being mid-range instead of a flagship.

All I’m going to say is that I think HTC finally figured out how to make a commercial.  I really hope that I start to see these advertised on every television channel possible.  They are good.

And then they have four commercials that are simply about the color of the device.  The A9 comes in several different colors and they made a video for each.  They are incredibly inspiring and artistic.  HTC has been known for design and these were designed well.

Here’s my favorite of the color ones.

That music.  That meteorite.  The…gray.

So if you’re still with me, what do you think?  Who does the best smartphone commercials?  Who does the worst?  Which are your favorites?  Let me know in the comments below!

Recent Penn State grad who loves all things mobile. Has a knack for teaching and enjoys a bit of alliteration.

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