On Thursday, Motorola unveiled its long-awaited new smartphone, the Moto X. WIth its customizable exterior and gesture-heavy UI, the phone was immediately subject to both applause and criticism. But after it released some of the first ads for the Moto X, the criticism got a bit louder.
The campaigns were both highly sexualized and gender-specific. One, which attempted to highlight the phone’s ability to respond to its owner’s voice, included the following text: “Moto X responds to your voice, no touching necessary. (That’s what she said.)”
Under normal conditions, it’s true that sex sells, but in this case, it just seems desperate. And I’d probably be less annoyed by the ad if it was a good use of that phrase, but as a self-proclaimed master of the “that’s what she said” punchline (this is not my best quality), I have to shake my head in disapproval.
But it gets worse. Two other ads unabashedly pander to gender stereotypes. One, aimed at women, features an array of very pink, very sparkly products (and some Pop Rocks?) along with the words “Feminine mystique.” If you look closer, you’ll note the question: “Is bigger really better? You decide,” in reference to the phone’s various storage size options.
The male version of this ad features a bike chain, some pomade, and shaving tools, among other things.
In response to backlash, Motorola removed the “that’s what she said” phrase, but the other ads remain, unaltered.