It's hard to compete with smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple, but Lenovo has a new plan of attack: a bold newspaper ad. Oh, and a YouTube video, too.
Lenovo launched an ad campaign today called "Skip the Sevens," encouraging people to buy a Moto Z instead of an iPhone 7, Galaxy S7, or Galaxy Note 7 — the latter of which, at least, ought to be an easier sell, given the whole explosion thing.
The ad has a full-page placement in The New York Times this morning and is supposed to appear elsewhere in print and online. Its copy goes for the kind of tough stance that's been reminiscent of probably every major technology ad placed in a newspaper since Apple's "Welcome, IBM" ad in 1981.
Lenovo is also cribbing from Samsung's playbook here, arguing that its competitors make people "wait years for the next big thing." Instead, it says, people should get "something new, something different," which I guess is one way of praising the Moto Z.
The main feature of the Moto Z that Lenovo calls out here is its Moto Mods, which are basically snap-on cases that add additional functions, like a better camera or speakers. It made a really painful ad about a "focus group" of "Apple loyalists" being introduced to and blown away by these accessories. I figured it was fake because someone gets excited about a projector, but a company representative emailed me to say that it is, in fact, real. "They are not actors," the representative said.
Correction September 15th, 11AM ET: Lenovo says its YouTube ad shows real people and not actors, as I originally speculated in this article. The story has been updated to reflect this.