Motorola’s reinvention of the Razr flip phone gets a high-fashion launch party

The virtual event had attendees eating popcorn and sipping mocktails as they watched a brand film featuring Ozark co-star Julia Garner.

Day One Agency staged a spectacular, $15 million launch for Motorola’s new Razr phone that featured actress Julia Garner, a co-star on the hit Netflix show Ozark, in a high-fashion, mock movie trailer.

The trailer aired live across influencers’ connected devices Wednesday. An after-party of behind-the-scenes commentary, gifs for sharing and other treats were then released via QR upload. 

A few days before the online event, the creative communications agency had shipped special guests a box filled with goodies, including everything to mix a trendy, botanical mocktail — club soda, hibiscus syrup — popcorn and candy, which were meant to be enjoyed while watching the launch for the reinvention of Motorola’s iconic flip phone. 

The multisensory event brought all the trappings of a hotel-ballroom corporate kickoff or a CES launch party to the humbler home offices of invited dignitaries and press. Splashy, experiential events are just another thing lost to the COVID-19 shutdowns, but Motorola and Day One aimed to prove the marketing medium can be reinvented. 

“Having a virtual launch has allowed us to scale the moment in a way that an IRL event couldn’t have,” said Josh Rosenberg, CEO at Day One Agency. “We now have 15 countries around the world, from Japan to Argentina, tuning into this event at the same time.” 

In the fall, the 5G phone rolls out to retail and online sellers in 35 markets. Motorola, which launched the original Razr phone in 2004, is also organically phasing in Minimal Meets Maximal, a global consumer campaign by Los York that will play up the folding aspect of the OLED (organic light emitting diode) display phone with references to the paper-folding art of origami. 

The buzzy movie trailer, directed by Luke Gilford, who has shot work for Valentino, Apple and Mercedes Benz, features Isa (Garner) as a high-fashion, but not so high-maintenance, girlfriend. She steals the code to her boyfriend’s garage of high-end vintage sports cars (think red Ferrari) and brings her friends along for the ride. 

The girls head straight for the desert in cocktail dresses, leopard print and bright-red leather, where they proceed to vamp it up for a Razr-filmed photoshoot. The Razr phones clasp open and shut like a clutch bag and clamp onto the top of some pink leather boots as a sports car’s lights blink, making the phone appear as a must-have accessory.

“The target consumer for Razr is both innovation-minded and fashion-forward, a person who appreciates an understated and minimalistic, yet still exciting, type of luxury,” said Maria Jose Martin, Motorola’s North American marketing lead. “Razr consumers don’t just want an Android phone that folds in half like competitor devices, they want a device that sits at the intersection of design and innovation and truly revolutionizes how you can use a smartphone today.”

The Razr arrives at a time that feels slow for product innovation. As rollouts go virtual for now, it creates an opportunity for partners like Day One, more typically stored on the PR shelf, to push toward greater responsibility.

“As an agency, we’ve increased our investment in our creative process with a hyper-focus on cultural insights,” said Rosenberg. “This investment has led to our ability to evolve from channel-specific roles on inter-agency teams to being the lead creative agency for many assignments.”

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