Motorola’s reinvented Razr flip phone stars in short film with Julia Garner

The film “builds personality and expression through a story,” said Motorola’s NA marketing lead.

Motorola’s reinvented Razr flip phone stars in short film with Julia Garner

Campaign: Joyride
Company: Motorola 
Agency partners: Day One Agency (creative, film production, media and influencer relations)
Duration: September 2020

Motorola relaunched a nostalgic favorite, the 5G Razr phone, by having it star in a short film called Joyride with Ozark actress Julia Garner in September.

Motorola made a splash last year when it released an updated, smart version of the Razr, the flip phone popular in the mid-to-late 2000s.

As it prepared to introduce its 5G model, the brand’s main goal was to “introduce it into the cultural conversation,” said Maria Jose Martin, Motorola’s North America marketing lead. 

Many people already had a strong emotional connection to the phone. From market research, the company knew the brand was infused with nostalgia. The trick was tapping into these feelings while highlighting the 5G model’s modernness.

The brand set out to market the product as “the phone of today with the emotions of yesterday,” Martin said. 

Planning for the campaign began in February, right before the pandemic swept through the U.S. As a result, from very early in the planning process, Motorola was juggling multiple possibilities.

“Plan A, plan B, we never knew what was going to happen,” Martin said.

As the pandemic progressed, the brand shifted from an in-person to virtual event.

As for the film itself, the focus was on highlighting the phone’s unique features—notably, its ability to snap closed, and the fact that choosing the brand is a choice—while centering it in the modern day. The final result, a three-minute movie, features actor Julia Garner strutting around in beautiful, over-the-top outfits before organizing a joyride with two of her friends. 

“Consumers who buy Razr are willing to do something different; they want to stand out from the crowd,” Martin said. “‘Joyride is building personality and expression through a story.”

The brand held a virtual premiere on September 9. It personalized the experience, sending customized gift boxes to guests in advance. 

Once the short dropped, its reach was boosted with paid support on social media. 

The campaign generated more than 20 earned placements in fashion and lifestyle publications, including a WWD exclusive.

More than 220 journalists and influencers attended the virtual event. On the date of the premiere, the video was watched by 1,300 unique viewers.

Social sentiment was 90% positive and 10% neutral.

On YouTube, the 5G product video received 55,800 organic views, and 6.4 million paid views. The Joyride trailer, meanwhile, was viewed 37,000 times organically, and 3 million times as a result of a paid push.

Following the campaign, Google searches for “Razr” increased by 54%.

The influencer campaign, which included posts from Garner, content creator Wisdom Kaye, fashion stylist Kyle Luu and director Luke Gilford, generated a total of 197,000 video views, 279,400 likes, 3,200 comments and 8,600 sends or saves. On Instagram Stories, the campaign received 896,600 views.

In addition, 40 unpaid influencers engaged with the campaign, including celebrities such as Florence Pugh, Sophia Bush, Lili Reihart and Miley Cyrus.

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