Since introducing the Moto X in August, Motorola has backed the
phone with a straightforward campaign including national TV
commercials, print ads, online display units and stunts like
getting it in the hands of models on Fashion Week runways in New
But it has also sought opportunities to play up the
customization available, even with the "old,"
not-usually-interactive, media it is using. The company invested in
outdoor this fall, for example, including ads at some bus shelters
and storefronts in New York and Chicago that rendered images of the
phone in colors matching the clothing of the person standing in
front of it.
The ad will appear in New York and Chicago metro area editions
of Wired and reach roughly 153,000 subscription and newsstand
readers, according to a Motorola spokesman. Its intent is to
illustrate in a basic way how consumers can go about customizing
their Moto X phones, a core selling point of the device.
Motorola paid to develop and implement the ad in print, as well
as for the actual media buy, but declined to reveal the total cost.
Barry Smyth, Motorola's global marketing director, said that he
expects the reach of the ad to be amplified through people sharing
"We think it'll be bigger than just the print run itself," he
said. "It's going to have a lot of pass-around value and be
something that people are going to show other people."
In its zeal to promote the customizable aspects of the phone,
Motorola also developed a Facebook app, Moto Match, in September
that renders a Moto X based on the colors in a Facebook timeline
photo of the user's choosing. It hasn't been supported with
Facebook ads and instead has relied on traffic from Motorola's fan
base within the social network and from Twitter.
But for all the inventive marketing, early sales of the Moto X
have been weak. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that
Motorola had sold
just 500,000 of the devices in the third quarter, based on
research from Strategy Analytics. Samsung, by comparison, had
reported selling more than 10 million Galaxy S4 phones within its
month on the market this spring.
Motorola subsequently cut the cost of the phone with a two-year
carrier contract to $100 from $200. It also introduced a lower-end
version of the phone, the
Moto G, that's available for $179 without a contract.