With its smartphone sales in sharp decline, LG takes aim at the iPhone in a television ad that seems desperate to drum up excitement for its new flagship handset.
The commercial for the new LG G7 ThinQ features actress Aubrey Plaza and shows a village of people using every criticism the Android community has ever hurled at the iPhone to try and convince a whiny user named Ryan to switch to the ThinQ.
While the ad does not name Apple or the iPhone directly, the iPhone is clearly the source of Ryan’s frustration – and LG’s.
The user’s dilemma becomes a news story on the commercial and his plight earns him the nickname “Dongle Boy,” a likely reference to music lovers who need a Lighting port adapter for headphones to listen to music on the iPhone.
There are even shots about battery life, operating system slowdown, and seemingly constant OS updates.
The ad does little to sell the ThinQ on its own features, spending more time criticizing Ryan’s choice of current phone while barely mentioning what the LG phone offers.
The ad was posted to YouTube by LGUSAMobile on June 15.
LG is hardly the first to use marketing to jab at the competition. Samsung frequently disses Apple in its commercials, making fun of everything from the lines outside Apple Stores to reoccurring character with bangs cut to mockingly look like the notch on the iPhone X.
Chris Matyszczyk, a former Madison Avenue creative director who runs the consulting firm Howard Raucous LLC, wrote with some sympathy for Android manufacturers today for ZDNet.
“They do all they (think they) can to compete with the iPhone, yet it rarely seems like enough,” Matyszcyzk wrote. “Some keep their frustrations to themselves. I fear LG went to a fine psychologist who advised: ‘Poor thing. Just let it out.’
“I fear all phone manufacturers are struggling to find truly new ideas. Hampered by technology itself and by the constant grind of annual releases, they try and dress things up and, if that doesn’t work, they get a celebrity who’ll hopefully mesmerize the numb.”