Droid Does... camping. And it bores the bejesus out of me.
Droid Does... camping. And bores the bejesus out of smartphone shoppers.

Launch app by voice, while learning your voice? Droid Does. Turn by turn navigation? Droid Does.

Edgy, high impact ad campaign?

Droid Does Not.

The iconic “Droid Does” campaign that so successfully launched the Android revolution circa November 2009 has returned. Version 2.0, as seen in the video below posted today by Verizon Wireless, is kinder, with the kind of boring voiceover that only a carrier could love.

Verdict: pretty weak sauce.

Sadly for those of us who remember the original Droid campaign as daring, creative, this one (so far) is about as bland as you can get.

The ad is neither crazy-techy-wild nor artsy-lifestyle-inspired.

Which means it sits right smack-dab in the middle of no-man’s land, in a place called boring.

That’s too bad. The original campaign with its stark black and red theme, and futuristic (or throw-back sci-fi depending on your perspective) robotic “DROID!” voice was absolutely memorable. It was a remarkable marketing effort with Verizon, Motorola and Google showcasing how effective well-orchestrated, edgy copy could be. Back then, it was a no-holds grudge match, and Team Droid held back nothing when it came to bashing the flower-power of iPhone. On launch day I was there for OG Moto Droid, ready to jump on the Android bandwagon, saying so-long to the aging, but decent BlackBerry 8700c.

Now, of course, the iPhone is not an AT&T exclusive. So there’s a certain kind of “DROID Does!” (but if droid doesn’t do it for you there’s always this here iphone 4s…).

I’ve always believed that Google and its partners should embrace Android’s geek cred; it’s powerful (quad-core), customizable (widgets, home screens) and open (hack city). Why pretend to be apple pie and all things American goodness? Extreme differentiation in the mobile space is a good thing. Without strong positioning the consumer is ultimately left confused, or, bored. This is precisely why I think the latest Windows Phone mega-campaign will fail (having a fading manufacturer in Nokia doesn’t help matters). Yes, it’s pretty, and cheap. But those aren’t exactly long-term (or even short-term) barriers to entry.

Meanwhile, Android will continue to succeed. In spite of what the great Woz says about the Windows powered Lumia. In spite of the never-ending criticism of so-called fragmentation. And, in spite of itself:

Droid Does Ad – With Play-by-Play by Boring Voiceover Man