Apple just released its snazzy new iPhone 15, but Google says it’s hardly better than a 1980s-era pager—at when it comes to its texting technology, which continues to have compatibility problems with Google’s Android devices.
Google on Thursday rolled out a spot called “Meet iPager,” created by agency David Miami, which is a spoof of Apple advertising—in particular, the iPhone videos full of beauty shots that Apple famously uses when it rolls out a new device.
But it’s thick with irony, as the fictional product on display represents decades-old tech—much as Apple’s SMS texting protocol does, according to Google, which wants Apple to switch to RCS.
The spot is backed by the 1992 Stereo MCs song “Connected.”
The campaign, which uses online videos, out-of-home and social media, uses phrases like “What year is this?" and “Time for SMS to exit the chat.” In addition, 3D-printed mockups of the iPager device will be sent to influencers. This is the latest salvo in an Android campaign themed #GetTheMessage, which launched in 2022.
Google’s Android site has a whole page devoted to #GetTheMessage. The brand says: “Blurry videos, broken group chats, lack of encryption and more. Texting between iPhones and Android phones feels like using tech from another era, because it is—Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards. But it's 2023, and texting shouldn't feel like using a pager.”
Asked at an event last year about iPhones adopting RCS, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy in on that at this point.” Instead, he said, “I would love to convert you to an iPhone.”
“In today’s world, texting should be seamless, inclusive and secure, not broken, degraded and outdated,” said Adrienne Lofton, Google’s VP of global consumer marketing. “By holding on to VCR-era technology and not adopting the modern messaging standard or participating in the process with the rest of the mobile industry, Apple is holding everyone back. This doesn’t just impact their users, it impacts everyone who wants to communicate in an inclusive world. We sincerely invite them to help us all move messaging forward.”
“Stepping back in time isn’t always a nostalgic joy ride,” said Rafa Donato, chief creative officer at DAVID Miami. “When it comes to messaging, it's time to leave the ’90s behind and embrace the future of communication. #GetTheMessage and move past the ‘pager’ days.”