Motorola Rolls Out First Ad for Moto X Smartphone

A Made-In-America Claim But No Images of the Phone

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Motorola has set a patriotic tone for its Moto X smartphone campaign, the company's first since being acquired by Google last summer.

"What we are doing which is very different is assembling [Moto X smartphones] here in the U.S. in our assembly plant in Fort Worth, Texas," Brian Wallace, Motorola's VP-global brand and product marketing, said. "What better time than July 4th to come with a message like that?"

The ad will run as a full-page spread in the July 3 editions of The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, Motorola said. It's Motorola's first ad for its Moto X smartphone, and the copy and timing emphasize the rebranded company's emphasis on freedom.

Behind it was Motorola's new creative agency of record is independent shop Droga5, which won the business without a pitch. Assisting on the creative and strategy for the campaign will be Publicis Groupe's Digitas.

Moto X will be "the first smartphone that you can design yourself," the copy says. It promises that users will be able to design phones as unique as their personalities.

"Smartphones are very different than other tech products a consumer owns," Mr. Wallace said. "They're closer to shoes or a watch. You carry it with you everywhere you go. Everyone sees what phone you're carrying and they judge you on it. Yet it's the one thing you carry that's the least customizable."

Mr. Wallace declined to comment on which Moto X aspects will be available for personalization, and the ad doesn't show the phone, but that its part of injecting what he called a "Googley attitude" into the company's operations and brand image. The emergence of a (literally) colorful new Motorola started when the company debuted its new logo last week.

Motorola wants to do with phones what Google did with search, Mr. Wallace said.

The smartphone's marketing will emphasize old-fashioned American patriotism. The ad touts Moto X as the "first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA." Some Moto X components will be created abroad, but final assembly will occur domestically, Mr. Wallace said.

The tagline for Moto X is "Designed by you. Assembled in the USA." Mr. Wallace said that while that may change as the campaign progresses, subsequent work will be in the same vein.

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