GOOD QUESTION!: Why Are Smartphone Ads Full of Hipsters?


The Nexus S commercial, which Google released Monday, appears to be
telling us that those who purchase the company’s new smartphone will
become entirely engrossed in their device (and possibly nauseous);
viewers are whisked on a choppy, bewildering journey from the perspective
of multiple someones looking down at a cell phone screen as they
traverse terrain both terrestrial and celestial.

As Austin Carr at Fast Company watched the commercial, he had
an epiphany: rolled-up skinny jeans, Converse All-Stars in green and
pink pastels, flannel– he’d seen this trope before. Once again,
smartphone-makers were pandering to the hipster subculture.

Carr recalls Blackberry’s August advertising campaign for its Torch 9800, which featured a San Francisco bike courier crisscrossing the city on a fixie, and Palm commercials featuring indie music from bands like io echo and Passion Pit. He concludes:

These ads aren’t practicing a new formula. Marketers have always
depended on young influentials to promote their products, and
smartphone-makers seem convinced that hipsters are these young
influentials. Are these ads effective? We doubt bike messengers in the
Mission and indie bands in Brooklyn will be seduced by such explicit
pandering. Besides … hipsters make a point of silently judging other
hipsters.

Here’s the Nexus S commercial:

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