100% Bug-Powered Smart Phone, Featuring Insects Doing Circus Tricks (Video)


Images via youtube screengrabs

Oh yes. Snapdragon asks, "How many preying mantises does it take to power a smart phone?" And indeed, they put together a bug circus to find out. Check out the video. As you might guess, it would be near impossible to have preying mantises or any other bugs really power a smart phone. Still, this advertisement by Snapdragon and the bug circus is a very fun and silly commercial that positions bugs as the powerhouses of smartphone charging.... and shooting beetles from canons.

Tipster Elijah Jones let us know about this video and brought up some interesting questions:

An ad for a smartphone microprocessor, but it opens up other questions I think. Is green tech being advertised in cool ways, really? How much more cultural participation could we get with more thinking like this--or is it worth it? They've got a praying mantis on a unicycle and other bugs similarly charging a phone. Do we have a sense of humor? Or is something like this video more exploitative or inappropriate (they say no bugs were harmed)? How does this relate to our mission?

While it might seem like just a cute, silly commercial that gets attention, it really does spark these questions and more.

Where are the great ads for more environmentally-minded smartphones. It's not as if these phones don't exist, and that companies aren't aware of the marketing angle. Samsung, for example, has put out several models of cell phone specifically addressing environmental angles like using recycled plastic for the case. Samsung's Evergreen phone has even earned a Platinum rating from UL Environment. So, where are the ads that highlight the fact that these are green phones? Why are there not cleverly crafted newspaper or magazine spreads, billboards or subway posters, or yes, even fun online commercials for gadgets with a greener side?

Or for that matter, why aren't there humorous or tongue-in-cheek ads for any green technology? It seems like when there are ads for something like solar power or wind power, the tone is usually earnest or sentimental, rather than humorous.

Do we have a sense of humor when it comes to getting the word out about green technology? Are we serious about putting money and creativity behind campaigns? And what might having a sense of humor do for moving green technology mainstream? Could clever yet savvy advertising have made all the difference for the recently deceased home energy monitoring systems like Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm?

I venture to guess: Yes.

In a culture that pops popcorn and settles in to watch the typically epic Super Bowl commercials, we place a certain, rather extraordinary, weight on advertising. Having smart, grabby ads gives your company clout -- it shows us that yes, you have the brains and the money to reach us in a way we can appreciate, whether or not we even want your product. And tapping in to the marketplace can be done as much, if not more effectively through a sense of humor than through any other splashy campaign ideas.

We are all, for the most part, tired of green marketing. But we are not even close to being tired of products and services that put the environment first. So let's figure out how to combine our odd and interesting love for savvy ad campaigns with the green technology we are craving so that we'll actually use things like home energy monitoring systems.

And a great example of the sillier side of technology that could get attention from consumers is Snapdragon's video:

Green technology could be -- but isn't at this point -- tapping in to the market in such a way. It might be time that we go bug-powered, so to speak.

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Tags: Advertising | Consumerism | Technology