“Our No. 1 goal was to flip the script and challenge the status quo. This is a category that’s very traditional in the way it does reveals, and we feel the razr+ is so different that we wanted people to connect differently to this device and the brand. We want the razr brand to stand for self-expression. Since the 2000s it’s been an icon, so we wanted to bring that back in the same way.”
–Maria Jose Martin, Marketing Director, Motorola
If you were of age in the aughts, you’ll recall that Motorola’s Razr flip phone was a pop culture sensation (yes, we had one, and yes, we cherished it almost as much as our MySpace profile). The iconic device has since returned as a foldable smartphone, and for the global unveiling of its latest iteration, the razr+, Motorola aimed to reinfiltrate the zeitgeist with the help of Cirque du Soleil.
At a launch event on June 1, performers from the renowned troupe officially revealed the new phone through a custom, 20-minute spectacle that incorporated the device both literally and figuratively. A post-show soiree featuring photo booths, installations and experiential F&B inspired by the razr+, along with a performance by Grammy Award winner Kim Petras, supported the unconventional reveal.
Media and influencers were invited to the historic Weylin event space in Brooklyn, NY, to witness Cirque du Soleil contortionists, acrobats and other high-flying performers transport the razr+’s “Flip the Script” tagline into a narrative-driven, on-stage extravaganza across two stages and a giant LED backdrop. The show served as a “celebration of self-expression” encompassing bold colors (like Pantone’s Color of the Year, Viva Magenta, one of three colors the razr+ comes in), lighting effects, technology integrations and gravity-defying acrobatics, all built to represent the phone’s design and functionality.
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“When we are building our campaigns, every single thing we do is [about] ‘show, don’t tell,’” says Maria Jose Martin, marketing director at Motorola. “If you think about the combination that Cirque du Soleil has with mixing music, color, dance, different materials, the aerial show, they are able to represent and build a story of the creation of razr+. For us, showcasing foldable technology in an artistic moment could only be done by them.”
Following the performance, as the artists were taking their final bows, a large theater curtain parted to reveal the Weylin’s domed event space. The performers then escorted attendees into the environment, where they were met with custom-fabricated plinths that reflected the razr+’s unique colors and shapes, and how it enables users to create content from multiple angles; trippy photo moments that matched the colors of the device; a dj performance; and opportunities to experiment with the phone and its features (like a large preview screen and hands-free recording capabilities). Across every touchpoint, Motorola aimed to cement the razr+’s positioning as the ultimate content-capture tool.
The evening additionally included tray-passed fare, pour-over cocktails featuring ingredients inspired by the razr+ and food installations that highlighted the device’s shapes. To round out the evening, Petras took the stage for an hour-long performance during which she sang and dj-ed while capturing the experience on her Viva Magenta razr+.
“We really believe that this phone is going to be the center of cultural life as it was in the 2000s, and if we want to build that, we need to make sure we’re bringing back that mantra of showing and not just telling,” says Martin. “I cannot tell people this phone is cool; people need to see ‘Wow, this phone is cool…’ We love the digital world, but having that experiential moment blows people’s minds. And this is just the starting point of many other spaces that we are exploring. Cultural moments where people can interact with the phone are going to come through the year, and we’re going to keep building these experiential stories that are critical for the success of this product.” Partners: Mirrored Media (lead experiential agency); Cirque du Soleil; LaForce.
Flip Through the Event:
Photo credit: Luis Ruiz (@larufoto)