Xoom tablet picks up 'freedom' theme from Apple's 1984 ad

The Motorola Xoom is expected to go on sale in February

Freedom is clearly a big theme in consumer technology marketing, going back to that iconic "1984" ad from Apple of the sledgehammer-wielding runner attacking Big Brother.

Motorola Mobility has updated that freedom theme in a new one-minute ad to air during this year's Super Bowl. Motorola contrasts its upcoming Xoom tablet with the Apple ipad by referencing 1984, the year.

In the 1984 ad, Apple itself was attacking a Big Brother image, explained by CEO Steve Jobs as IBM -- "IBM wants it all," he said at the time. But many viewers saw the ad as a shot at Microsoft, which made software running on IBM PCs. (This video shows Jobs introducing the 1984 ad and the ad itself. )

Today, the iPad dominates the tablet market.

Motorola is clearly challenging that iPad domination in the Xoom ad, but with a bit of humor: It opens with an image of a spinning Earth wearing recognizable white Apple earbuds.

No images of either tablet actually appear in the commercial, but the comparisons between the Android Honeycomb-enabled Xoom and the iPad are there.

The text in the ads notes, "2011 looks a lot like 1984...One authority...One design...One way to work...It's time for more choices."

Against a heavy drumbeat of music, the Xoom is further described in text as offering more speed with a dual-core 1GHz processor and 1080p video playback, while starting at 3G speeds that are upgradable to 4G. Further, the ad says it will have "more flexibility" with Honeycomb (Android 3.0), the Adobe Flash multimedia player, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

It concludes: "More Freedom... It's time to explore... It's time to live a free life." The ad signs off with Motorola's latest slogan: "Life M-powered" which uses the Motorola M logo and references to Xoom and Super Bowl 45.

With all those contrasts, the ad omits that the Xoom has 10.1-in. screen, slightly bigger than the iPad's 9.7-in. screen.

Xoom is scheduled to appear Feb. 17, according to leaked documents, and could be priced starting at $700. Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha told investors last week that he anticipated a launch in February.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MotorolaApplehardware systemstablet PCslaptops

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?