Why Are Smartphone Ads Full of Hipsters?

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The Nexus S commercial, which Google released Monday, appears to be telling us that those who purchase the company's new smartphone will become entirely engrossed in their device (and possibly nauseous, 7 ); viewers are whisked on a choppy, bewildering journey from the perspective of multiple someones looking down at a cell phone screen as they traverse terrain both terrestrial and celestial.

As Austin Carr at Fast Company watched the commercial, he had an epiphany: rolled-up skinny jeans, Converse All-Stars in green and pink pastels, flannel-- he'd seen this trope before. Once again, smartphone-makers were pandering to the hipster subculture.

Carr recalls Blackberry's August advertising campaign for its Torch 9800, which featured a San Francisco bike courier crisscrossing the city on a fixie, and Palm commercials featuring indie music from bands like io echo and Passion Pit. He concludes:

These ads aren't practicing a new formula. Marketers have always depended on young influentials to promote their products, and smartphone-makers seem convinced that hipsters are these young influentials. Are these ads effective? We doubt bike messengers in the Mission and indie bands in Brooklyn will be seduced by such explicit pandering. Besides ... hipsters make a point of silently judging other hipsters.

Here's the Nexus S commercial:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.