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Motorola Super Bowl ad rips Apple drones

Imitation is the sincerest form of imagination starvation

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Motorola has released a 15-second snippet of an advert for its upcoming Xoom tablet, a parody rip-off homage take-off send-up of Apple's iconic 1984 ad.

As did Apple's 27-year-old Big Brother–busting Macintosh introducer, Motorola's full ad will debut during this Sunday's Super Bowl, America's annual orgy of hyperthyroid meat monsters displaying their spandex-encased musculature to millions of Doritos and salsa–scarfing couch potatoes.

The quarter-minute clip shows an oh-so-cute male Xoom user – reading Orwell's dystopian novel, natch – boarding a subway train in the company of hordes of white-earbudded drones clad in identical white hoodies and baggy pants.

Mr. Xoom, as might be guessed, is hoodie-free. Carrying a lovely, colorful posy he boards a car, and is followed by an oh-so-cute female earbud wearer. Hmm... Whatever might happen?

Friday's come-on comes one day after Motorola released a one-minute YouTube teaser that opens with an image of the earth, followed by a countdown to 1984 that expands to the snappy one-liner "2011 looks a lot like 1984."

Next up is a series of marketing blurbs, ending with the arguably retro, Batmanesque Motorola logo emblazoned on a rather unpleasant-looking planet, along with the tagline: "It's time to live a free life."

A "free life" provided by Motorola? As Electronista rightly reminds us, that smartphone maker is "one of the most restrictive Android device makers and has a bootloader lock that forces deeper hacks to install the user's choice of firmware."

And the Android Honeycomb operating system that will power the Xoom is provided by Google, a company whose idea of freedom is to track your movements around the web in order to better sell ads based on your online peregrinations.

Überfanboi website MacDailyNews, true to form, castigated Motorola's effort to ride on the original 1984-ad heroine's T-shirttails, saying: "When doing a half-assed knockoff of an iconic Apple product, why not do the same to their famous Super Bowl ad, too?"

Here at The Reg, we're at least relieved that Motorola's Super Bowl time-waster doesn't take the same tack as did one of the company's original muy macho Droid adverts, which featured a rather disquieting circular saw–banana interaction. ®

Bootnote

This isn't the first time that Apple's 1984 ad has invoked an Androidian acknowledgment. Last May, when introducing Android 2.2, aka Froyo, Google vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra warned of a future without Android while standing in front a slide that read: "Not a Future We Want. 1984."

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