Creating a need through Obsolescence


A nifty short that starts out with a line a robots lining-up to purchase a new  “phone” (remarkably resembling an iPhone). With each scene, we see a robot either experimenting and buying a new app (the early adopters) and demonstrating its functionality to its peers, then following suit, the other robots also purchase the app (the early majority). All seems well, until the bigger grey robot starts to interfere with the functionalities of the phone, rendering the phones useless. Saddened, the robots question their existence, and their primary form of entertainment has been “rendered obsolete”, until the store offers the newer version of the phone (Version 5…. hint hint), and the robots, like in the first scene, line-up up to purchase the newest version of the phone. In the last scene, the big grey robot retreats back into background, with its backside displaying the logo of the company.

So what does this say about our society and how does it apply to marketing?

This video is a good overall look at today’s society as a whole, not just Apple product consumers which this movie short alludes to. The part where the big grey iDiot robot is basically pointing out the practice of “planned obsolescence”, where companies deliberately design products to last a certain amount of usage before they fail and design the product to be purposefully difficult or impossible to repair, and also leaving out key features just to put them in later versions of the same product. More often than not this forces the consumer to buy the new, “improved” product. Apple is the king of this design/selling tactic.

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