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.

New organic suspension in cars!

Mercedes-Benz recently released a commercial that’s promoting their new “Magic Body Control” suspension system. In reality, the system is really an active suspension system, meaning that that a computer analyzes the road ahead and accounts for the roughness on the road aheahd resulting in a smoother ride for the customer. Instead of using technical jargon and using a traditional engineering commercial approach (i.e. a comparison between competition’s car suspension), Benz opted for a organic approach. Using the chicken’s ability to keep their head relatively stationary as its body is being moved around is a creative way of demonstrating the prowess of Benz new suspension system.

However, this commercial may raise some concerns from animal activists. For example, where the chickens harmed during the filming of this ad? Probably not, but there’s always that skepticism.

Oreo Whisper Fight

This Oreo commercial was first released during the 2013 Super Bowl and it remains one of my favourite commercials to date (is there such thing?). So why is the commercial great and how does it sell the Oreo brand?