What Do You Think of the Palm Pre Ads? | webOS Nation

What Do You Think of the Palm Pre Ads? 75

by Dieter Bohn Wed, 22 Jul 2009 11:37 am EDT

We know we've been posting a lot of these Palm Pre commercials and, well, we're looking forward to the day when they're not really newsworthy anymore. For now, though - we just can't let this one pass by.

The first, premiere ad with the monks was crazy cool, the second ad was serene and calm, but had a shade of weirdness to it, but we hung in.  This third ad, however, gives us the heebie jeebies, the jibblies, the creeping doom.

We think we know what's going on and what's going wrong.  Basically, what we have here is analogous to the Uncanny Valley.  That valley, if you're wondering, is when you are unable to empathize with a person because they look almost but not quite human. So sayeth Wikipedia:

The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's lifelikeness.

We're not saying actress Tamara Hope doesn't look human, we're saying that Palm seems to be aiming for "Calm. Serene. Peaceful. Natural," -  they are almost but not quite there.  The Uncanny Valley of Serenity, if you will.

Frankly, we're starting to think it's intentional.  I mean, in the above video she references a juggler, and jugglers are one step away from clowns, and everybody knows clowns are creepy as hell. In any case, we came across an early video of iJustine juggling and that combined with her failed attempt to purchase a Pre and the anger that caused inspired the above.

What do you think of the Palm Pre Commercials?
Vote here and comment below!

What do you think of the Palm Pre Commercials?
What do you think of the Palm Pre Commercials?
I love them: They make me more likely to buy a Pre.
I hate them: They are creepy and weird.
I don't really care: Advertising is not a factor for me.


Hat tip to @TheInvsbleMan for pointing out this first traumatizing version of the Pre commercial, another inspiration.


Anyone else strongly prefer the Sprint Now ads?

I think pretty much everyone strongly prefers the Sprint Now ads. The Sprint ads are great, the Palm ads make you embarrassed not just to own a Pre, but to even know anyone who owns one. This ad campaign should be killed before it does serious damage.

I strongly agree!!! i was just telling my friend that sprint is the one who has the cool pre commercials and palms commercials are just a waste of money and air time... i think that everyone prefers the sprint commercials better! palm needs to hang it up!!!

nope. they are only slightly less lame but that's cause they aren't that memorable. And the fact that unless you have sprint and have had the "the now network" explained to you it's not apparent from the commercial what the hell diffence that is from any other cell network.

Palm stop trying to be trendy, and calm and serene, and all this other nonsense. You have advertising gold in the form of the post directly below this one. Put the guy telling jokes about all the amazing things the pre can do in the first 15 seconds of your commercial, then show the zoom in with the multiple apps open and switching through them.

Jokes = get peoples attention and make them laugh, phone makes them go wow that looks cool, end of commercial. Why did i do graphic design and not marketing?

I loved Flow. Other than that, these two 30 second spots have been awful. Great video Dieter.

Palm is way to close to their own product - and their marketing shows it. Instead of pushing the multi-tasking... tell us, the ignorant audience (the fat middle) WHAT is being multi-tasked first!

Palm needs to show off the BASICS:
* Web browser: Include rotate to landscape / pinch & zoom
* Email / Integrated Messages
* YouTube / Pictures / Videos / MP3s

Seriously - a LOT of people don't even know a phone can do this. The iPhone more-or-less took this approach with their initial ads.

Palm is blowing it on these commercials.

You're right on.

Show the Youtube/Pictures/Videos/MP3s.
People want to see basic functionality along with the things that people want most -- their media.

Showing that people can watch youtube or stream Pandora or listen to their own music ... or anything along those lines is good.

The approach that Palm is using is HORRIBLE. If everyone knew what the Palm Pre did, then it would be perfect... but people have no idea that the Palm Pre is even a freaking phone with these advertisements.

Turn by turn GPS: Show this!!
Threaded messages: Show this!!
And lastly, show the full HTML browser and the ability to rotate the screen to your preference.

The Iphone's commercials are showing that it can do these things, and Palm is sitting on their butts with a great phone talking about .... flow or something.

The early videos Palm had on their Website - the guy checking a friend's flight / his calendar / then sending her a Webpage...

That was amazing - and it clearly showed what a PRACTICAL device the Palm could be for everyone. I think Palm is making a big mistake in that it is trying to compare itself to the iPhone - in which case it's going to LOSE!

To me the Palm is something totally new and different than the iPhone. Show everyone else that.

BTW: Does the woman in the Palm commercials remind anyone of the Witch from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe movie?

I was minding my business, eating my early lunch when I saw Dieter's face on PreCentral.net. Hey, I have seen this guy before. It was like Deja Vu... and bing bing bing I clicked on Dieter. Creeped out of my mind, I am now watching an episode of House.... yes I said House, to get the creepy out of my mind.

I watched Burn Notice last night and it was brought to us by the Palm Pre

ha ha me too.

Heh I love USA.

Until there are apps available to show the power of the Pre, the commericals are going to be without substance. Right now the iPhone "we got an app for that" commericals are move effective.

The ONLYPre commercial that has been great is the 4G ad featuring the pre and the multi-tasking. They need to stick with that concept and dumpe this boring serenity crap!

leave my future wife (ms hope, not that other biatch) alone.

and if juggling and flow, isnt a metaphor for multitasking i dont know what is.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought there was some weird underlying sexual context to these. Though I think they are trying to appeal to the hipper than thou, 20 something coffee shop blogging, indy film watching, physo intellectuals types. All those apple totting shallow pawns out there.

I think these ads are doing absolutely what they are meant to. Ever since the Palm Pre was announced everything about it has been viral. The phone is a social networking beast, how are things shared via social social networking? Virally. These ads are meant to be creepy, they are meant to get people talking. Palm wants people to say "wow that was creepy" then post it to Facebook or Twitter to show other people how creepy it is. The ad has done exactly what is was supposed to do, and that is simply to get people talking and sharing the video.

I don't get it...they want people to see their flagship product in a negative light? The "Any attention is good attention" works if you're Paris Hilton but not if you're trying to buy a phone.

This crossed my mind too, that maybe they're trying to seed some viral marketing. Notice that the last two commercials are very simple, meaning they'd be easy to recreate and parody and upload to Youtube. Could that be what Palm wants? Don't know. If you start tampering with a virus, you might get Outbreak'ed.

AOTS on G4tv did a funny lil parody of the flow girl a few days ago.

I wish i could find a video of that it was so funny

The background music in the commercial reminds me of the twilight zone. Am I alone?

Some one is always watching... you are never alone....

do do do do
do do do do

Twilight zone? I hadn't noticed that so much, but I've not seen TZ in ages. The whole "do do dooo doo do" thing when the Palm logo hits the screen reminds me a lot of South Park's parody of the Nanny 911 theme song.

It's not so much creepy and weird as it is just plain BAD and POOR marketing skills. The "mysterious" effect only lasts for about 1 minute. People don't wake up the next day thinking about the commercial they saw last night. They need to be straight to the point, and appeal to people who have no idea that a phone is capable of doing such things as the Pre is.

-Tell us what you are about to show us.
-Show us.
-Tell us what you just showed us.

It's so fuckin BASIC!

So is finding another word besides F***in as an adjective for basic.

Shittin' is a creative alternative.

I don't blame him though. He's frustrated at what a great product the Pre is and how badly Palm is advertising it.

Sigh. If you're going to be the grammar and diction police, at least get your parts of speech right.

"...as an [adverb] for basic."

OMG, the palm pre chick @PalmPreGirl just started following me on twitter. Her tweets are kinda amusing.

At first. It was funny. Then creepy. Then scary. Then funny again. Then just rather sad.

The orange people. Did the hokey-pokey.

Yawn. Good morning, Cuddles. Sylvester. Circling orange flock of freaks

I need another option: Some are good, some are bad.

I don't believe these ads are intentionally creepy, they just are. I think Palm is going with the Serene, Calm, spa-like feminine douche vibe b/c they are marketing specifically to female users (notice the juggler is a she as well, etc.) That's why this mostly male audience hates these ads. But I think Palm is making a mistake. They risk giving the Pre a reputation as a girl's phone if this continues, which will kill the brand. Do you want to be the only guy in the office with that new chick-phone from Palm. I don't. But I'm afraid that's where we are headed with this ad campaign.

"the new chick-phone" haha exactly. I hope nobody is seeing these commercials. I haven't seen one on the TV at all yet. Maybe they are only being shown on the lifetime network. I can only hope.

Only on Lifetime network, haha. Let's hope. When the Pre becomes one of Oprah's Favorite Things we're all doomed; it will be the death knell for male Pre owners.

Feminine douche-vibe?


Btw, when will we get a Pre/iPhone optimized site? I like coming here on my phone.


Especially strange with Palm's odd (creepy) background music compared to the iPhone's happy-go-lucky background music.

There actually shao-lin martial arts students... Not monks. Not shure on my spelling :)

I think the "Have Fun" welcome video (which is exactly 1 minute like some commercials) is the best "ad" I have seen for the Pre. It includes catchy music, a happy gesture "spot"(?) floating through space, and without any voiceover, it shows some of the features of the Pre. Pretty simple, but effective, ad.

PLEASE do not give that "iJustine" whore any more exposure. People may confuse that with credibility, of which, she has none. If we all ignore her, maybe she will go away...back to the mall.

Who really cares about this subject anyway? Have they run out of things to post of importance on this site?

Lets keep some substance going~~~~

i spilled water on my pre this morning... the thing went nuts. started typing random things into the search, including 666 numerous times. then it played some random music, The Dead Weather, from my music collection. had to send it for a TEP replacement because the screen just gave out then a blue ink-like substance started leaking from the phone. yup, it's possessed. palm is the devil, and the pre and it's commercials are satan spawn.

btw, this story is true. serious.

oh, and in the Have Fun video, at one point there is a creepy eye in the clouds...


Palm Pre's commercials are very effective. That's the reason why we are talking about them.

Who's that creepy girl with a cool phone again?

I disagree. You can barely tell what she's holding (phone? PDA? mp3 player? what?) and learn nothing about the product. And the ads aren't cool, they're weird, which doesn't make me want to go out and learn more. Us talking about how much these ads suck doesn't make them effective.

no fricken idea who that girl is. some white girl. how is that effective. if it's not getting new people to buy a pre how is that effective? it's not effective cause it get's early adopters to post on a comments section

"Palm Pre's commercials are very effective. That's the reason why we are talking about them.

Who's that creepy girl with a cool phone again?"

Exactly. In one of the episodes of Mad Men, all the ad execs are sitting around talking bad about the Volkswagen "Think Small" ads. Don Draper sits and listens then stands up to leave. He says something like, "Whether you like it or not, we have been talking about it for 15 minutes".

Salty Draper leaves.

I think this is a scheme by Verizon Cindy to get Devon back. About ten seconds of this would probably have him running back to her with an engagement ring.

if i didn't know anything about the Pre these commercials would make me buy an ipod instead. Because i know the ipod can copy and paste and do lots of stuff. Pre commercials don't sell the Pre well.

leave it up to palm to turn a really cool product into a creepy one. oh well, i can live with being the only one in the neighborhood with a superior smart phone.

I guess the ads are fine. I am not sure they feature the Pre and its features nearly as well as the iPhone ads did/do. And why do they show the Pre with the screen off at the end of the ad? Shouldn't they feature some nice bright screen shot or something?

By the way, I agree that clowns are scary. Not getting that from this ad, though. The guy's video is really kinda dumb. There was 3 1/2 minutes I'll never get back.

I can't stand that slut ijustine.... she's nothing more than an apple fan girl.

This was a good find from the YouTube comments: the song is "Tunnel" by The Dining Rooms from the album "Tre". Link to Amazon: http://bit.ly/TyaJT

I just downloaded it to the Pre because it amused me to do so.

I agree... The ads are just plain awful. Yes, they might appeal to the geeks who understand WebOS, what it is, and what it is capable of... but in my opinion they are MUCH too obtuse for an average user (which is the majority of the market)! The early adopters- or geeks- they are targeting, have already done their own research. They were the ones waiting in line opening day, and don't need mass marketing campaigns to be reached!

I get annoyed as the commercials continue to refer to "synchronicity" or whatever buzzword it is, without showing a practical example of how it works or WHY it is so cool.

I absolutely LOVE the phone, but if I hadn't already known about it, that commercial would have lost me. I am trying to convince my friends and colleagues how great this device is, but the Palm commercials are not helping my cause!

And Dieter's right, the spooky/creepy/vague commercials only serve to turn one off even more. *sigh*

I really want this device to succeed, but it's starting to feel like I'm on a one-(wo)man mission to persuade others. A little more mainstream marketing could go a long way, Palm!

P.S. Incidentally... My band has a song about the "Uncanny Valley" effect. Not inspired by Palm but definitely reminiscent of the commercials as reviewed above!

The other weird thing about these commercials is the lighting--it looks like it's a 19th century painting. Only it's moving.

I have no problem with the commercials. The monks thing was very cool. The other one, not so much. This last one is pretty good, I like the juggler theme. But what about the woman. She looks like she's been hidden in the dungeon of some group of religious zen fanatical group since birth. You'd think this beautiful valley is the first time she's ever seen the sun. I keep wondering if she's really a vampire, but then, how could she survive out in daylight....? Very Creepy Lady. Makes a good commercial though.

Lovin the diss of iJustine. She's attractive, but I don't understand her immense following on YouTube. Incredibly annoying...

Shame they make her look so creepy. She's a cutie actually - http://www.northernstars.ca/actorsghi/Media/hope_tamara_250_ctv.jpg

Ok I I love the sprint ads, even the premier ad. Then we got the face book ad which is my favorite.
But that calm cool crap with the albino girl has to go. The palm pre is supposed to be NEW and HIP! Then we get the donut ad which was wonderful. Palm and Sprint need to crank it up a bit in order to compete with the apple store and blackberry world. I know can do it.


Ok I I love the sprint ads, even the premier ad. Then we got the face book ad which is my favorite.
But that calm cool crap with the albino girl has to go. The palm pre is supposed to be NEW and HIP! Then we get the donut ad which was wonderful. Palm and Sprint need to crank it up a bit in order to compete with the apple store and blackberry world. I know can do it.


The commercials are not creepy to me. I get what Palm is trying to get across. Simply the fact with the Palm Pre, one can gain or experience an "New Agie", Zen-like balance in life, being able to "juggle" multiple things - multitasking ability. I know everyone else gets it too. The woman in the ad is beatiful. So again, I disagree that the ads are creepy. Perhaps I am coming from a seasoned perspective since I am in my early 40s.

I do agree that Palm ads does not create excitement like the Sprint ads do. The Palm ads seems to be directed at women that are busy with life and work and are in need of balance. Thus, the Palm ads show the benefit of the Palm Pre. The Sprint ads generate excitement about the capability of the network and the Palm Pre. By talking about the 3G and 4G network and visually showing the Palm Pre's activity cards, the Sprint ads seem to focus on the geek in us by emphasizing the tech and power in and behind the Palm Pre.

Personally, I like both sets of ads. The Palm ads should show on Oxygen, Lifetime, during Soaps, Nat Geo, Smithsonian, etc. The Sprint ads should be broadcasted on ESPN, G4, Fox Sports, MTV, BET, etc.

And of course, I love my Pre. I am hopeful more refinement of the OS and more available apps.

These commercials are ineffective to the masses who know nothing about phones. People are impressed by the iphone being a phone that can play music, go on the internet and install apps even though this is something Palm has been doing way before the iphone. I told one of my friends they should get a Palm instead of an iphone and they said "why do I need a phone that can only manage my day with tasks, calendars and email? The iphone combines an iPod with a phone!" and I had to laugh.

And now I'm laughing at you.

The adds (other then the "Now Network" adds) are geared towards Girls and Women.
Palm needs to push the makeup mirror on the back of the pre more.

These are terrible, terrible ads that fail on almost every level. Unfortunately, the Pre's main differentiator - multitasking - is a difficult concept to market beyond the geek community. All I'm seeing is a creepy girl babbling on about "flow", "juggling" and flicking her finger across a screen. So bloody what? There are dozens and dozens of touchscreen phones being marketed at the moment and they all - including the Pre - look like iPhone knock-offs. And there is nothing in these ads which does anything to counter this notion, apart from the warm and fuzzy sentiments being expressed by the creepy girl. Big deal.

But the Sorint ads aren't much better. Talking about a "revolutionary WebOS" is just geek-speak, and utterly baffling to the man and woman in the street who doesn't really understand or give a toss about "multitasking".

Compare this to the iPhone ads, which, love them loathe them, are superb:

They say:

"You can play some amazing games on it."
"You can find almost anything with it"."
"You can take great videos and edit and share them, too."
"There's an app for just about anything"
"You can cut and paste, and here's why you'll love it."
"You can control music playback with your voice."

Features + benefits. It's the most basic of marketing, and Apple does it brilliantly.

Palm and Sprint are screwing the pooch on this. Big time.

Creepy? ? ? Get a life.... You obviously do nothing productive other then criticize cool commercials.

I agree - the 3rd commercial sucks and is very creepy, but on a slightly unrelated topic...

Never mention that iJustine chick. Ever. For any reason whatsoever. That chick is freaking annoying, and... well, I should probably stop here...

I FOUND AN EVEN CREEPIER VERSION OF THIS VIDEO......http://tinyurl.com/lcs3xp

I hate this commercial so much I'm copying and pasting a comment I left in a different forum. (this is what insomnia gets me....)

The Palm Pre tv spots are absolutely horrid. The first time I saw it I was completely put off by the sterile art direction and the droid-like quality of actress. The character Data from Star Trek Next Generation was about as attractive, but with loads more personality. If I'm going to be influenced to buy an aspirational product by a talking head commercial, I'd better be able to identify with the talking head, or at least find him or her amusing. I certainly can't identify with Robot Lady, and the monotone haikus uttered from her plastic lips are hardly amusing, nor are they memorable. In fact, the only thing that sticks in my head is that, apparently, people who buy Palm Pre's resemble prototypes from an Aryan android factory. I'm sure Hitler would have loved Robot Lady.

the only thing more creepy than those commercials are Dieters glasses. The hip, euro thing doesn't work for you. I'd go for something more traditional.

Personally I hate all commercials; they are a waste of time. But they are essential to our economy so it's something can easily get over. But this one sincerly creeps me out. Her eyes; her voice. I get freaked out every time I see it. I think this ad campaign should be flushed before your the next company asking for a bailout.

Every time I see these commercials, I want to punch her in the face. I've dubbed her the pompous nymph lady. There's something so...well, she seems like a theatre geek who takes herself too seriously and thinks she's very hip and edgy because she listens to The Killers while sitting at Starbucks reading O Magazine... I hadn't thought robot, but I definitely got the Aryan vibe someone else mentioned. One of my friends thinks that she seems quite patronizing. I just think she's obnoxious, and have used about 10 mins of my work day making myself a new facebook profile photo that's a ridiculous microsoft paint picture of a stickman punching her in the face. It amused me - what can I say?

i think all of these new sprint commercials are creepy and they actually piss me off. i no longer want to buy a palm pre anymore... whoever thought of these add campaign is a got some problems and should see a psychologist

It scared me at first.
Then I realized she wasn't wearing makeup. Her voice sort of bewildered me. Since it was so deep and... 'mysterious', I guess. Ha ha. But, I started thinking about it. She's sort of pretty, and she's just not wearing any makeup to bring out her eyes. I googled her and saw her with makeup and she was gorgeous. :)

Now, the commercials really don't bother me. I'm actually interested in looking at the product, now! Ha ha!

This girl is one of the most beautiful on television. I am really intrigued by her, and wish her and the ad campaign all the success in the world.

MediaCurves.com just conducted a study with 305 viewers of a new controversial ad by Sprint promoting their new Palm Pre phone. The majority of viewers reported that