February 10, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Android started with a perception of being a geek phone, but things slowly began to change once companies improved their design and – more importantly – their promotion. That’s why I’ve been quietly admiring the MetroPCS “Android for All” campaign that started last month as a way to make Android cool, engaging, and whatever marketing buzzword is in fashion these days.
First, there’s the Android-customization tool at androidforall.com, which allows users to create Andy images with their personal touch. Visitors can save the image, share it with friends, and if they’re lucky, a real-life figurine will be made for them. Based on the love of the dyzplastic collectibles and Android users general love of customization, I thought it was a great way to attract attention while quietly promoting metroPCS’s entrance into Android.
I’m not a fan of the DJ Skee Android for All mixtape, but only because I don’t particularly care for the dance-heavy, electro-hop playlist. (And why the heck did he add a Swedish House Mafia song with raps about BlackBerry products?) Then again, I’m too old for the target market of metroPCS customers: high-school and college-aged people attracted by the more bang for the buck achieved with metroPCS rate plans and the Optimus M or Galaxy Indulge.
The best part of the MetroPCS campaign is its AFA video series that highlight Los Angeles celebs and tastemakers talking about their field. Each video begins with an Andy assembly line and then takes viewers into the life of people like legendary photographer Estevan Oriol, skateboard pro Terry Kennedy, Tapout member Punkass, music group Far East Movement, and MTV reality star Drama from Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory. The videos are beautifully executed by drawing people in and then suddenly introducing the phone tie-in to show how great these products can be. You’re a budding photographer learning about Oriol and then see that he incorporates an Optimus M into his daily life.
The Android for All campaign will not be nearly as effective as Verizon’s Droid campaign and are not groundbreaking marketing techniques. But it’s good to see a carrier directly targeting a non-techie audience. Demographic reports show that young people, especially blacks and Latinos, favor BlackBerry and iOS devices, but this is the type of campaign that can attract their attention and bring more users into the Android fold. I’ve long wanted companies to start focusing on promoting how features relate to real-world practicality, and that’s exactly what metroPCS accomplishes.