Ad of the Day: Motorola says Hello Moto with new spot from Ogilvy featuring Moto Z family

Motorola is continuing its comeback into the mobile space with a new television commercial that features the shareability of its Moto Z family.

The new spot shows a dinner party with the guests more involved in their phones rather than their conversation, until a platter of new Motorola Moto Z family phones with Moto Mods is set down at the table for everyone to try. Then the fun begins, as the guests play with the phones to show off what the pods can do.

A release by the company said the new spot “will allow consumers to achieve a better phone-life balance by sharing and enjoying experiences with others through the various Mods, outside of the phone screen".

The new spot was created by Ogilvy, an agency that once helped vault the Motorola Razr to fame a decade ago. Jan Huckfeldt, chief marketing officer at Motorola, thinks Ogilvy is a “wonderful choice” to do the new ads because of the agency’s heritage with the brand.

Fans will note the familiar use of the sonic branding of “Hello Moto” plus the traditional batwings logo. Huckfeldt thinks the new spot sets a “distinctive brand personality – quirky, bold, lively".

He said: "It sets brand apart – we’re not copying anyone else. We’re highly determined to develop distinctive brand, with as much of DNA of the brand (intact).”

What started last year with a decision by Lenovo to consolidate its smartphone under the Moto brand, turned eventually into a push to revive the Motorola name, which was followed up with TV campaign, one that saw real iPhone fans become enamored with the Motorola Z family and Moto Mods, thinking they were part of the new iPhone.

That morphed into creative ads featuring the same protagonists seen in the dinner party spot. “We’re also going to be using those protagonists in the near future again. Our number one priority is to create a highly distinctive brand. To have that point of difference in the short term a big help,” said Huckfeldt.

He added that as a challenger in the industry, Motorola is also addressing human behavior, with the guests at dinner absorbed in their phones rather than dinner conversation. But when the latest Moto Mods and technical features (like a shatterproof device) are introduced, interactions happen.

“We help consumers share their experiences," he said. "We addressed the insight…that consumers around the world are concerned about their mindless usage of phone…we addressed the phone-life balance. Now people are using their phone to have social interaction.”

When Lenovo reintroduced the Motorola name and the traditional branding elements, along with the new technologies, Huckfeldt saw opportunity along with challenges.

“When I took the helm at the end of April last year, I found myself in a difficult spot. We were entertaining four to five brands globally, along with 35-plus products,” he said.

And when the team announced they were discontinuing Motorola, they went back and did some research. Their conclusion was that the biggest asset was indeed the Motorola brand. That gave Huckfeldt the ability to focus globally on one brand, with 10 to 12 products.

“Inevitably, you want to leverage the strongest brand assets you have. How unique it is, how well is it known? We wanted to bring batwing front and center – it’s such a sexy icon, he said, adding that the Hello Moto audio branding gives it a unique sound device.

“If I could add a taste device I would too,” he added.

Huckfeldt thinks the new Moto Z and Moto Mods help expand the limitations of the traditional device by offering the snap-on technology of better cameras, speakers, projectors and gaming packs, but Motorola still has a ways to go to climb back up the mobile mountain. It’s a position he relishes, though.

“I’m excited about being the challenger in the industry,” he concluded.

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Kyle O'Brien

I am a reporter for The Drum covering a wide array of topics but always trying to tell the best stories possible. I am a former west coaster from California and Portland, Oregon, now living in Pennsylvania — with time spent in NYC each week.

I also play saxophone professionally.

All by Kyle