Brandon Doerrer
Sep 24, 2023

Google ad jabs Apple over green-bubble texts

The comedic spot from David Miami pokes fun at Apple’s old texting tech.

Any Android user who has ever tried to send a video to an iPhone owner knows that the cross-texting experience isn’t optimal thanks to ancient SMS and MMS texting tech that chews that video up and spits out a low-resolution mess.

It’s also why Android texts show up on iPhone as the infamous green bubble, in contrast to the blue bubble used between iMessage users. 

In a new spot created by David Miami, Google pokes fun at Apple’s reliance on old tech that makes texting between Android devices and iPhones feel like a user experience from a bygone era.

The video introduces the iPager, a fictional device that looks a lot like an old beeper from the ‘80s. The iPager uses “outdated messaging tech like Apple still uses to text with Android” that results in green chat bubbles, pixelated videos, broken group chats and no encryption.

The ad pushes for Apple to adopt the more modern Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging system that would introduce features such as encryption, read receipts and high-res video sharing between iPhone and Android users.

“The goal of the campaign is to put pressure on Apple to upgrade to RCS tech, the modern industry standard used by almost every brand, except Apple,” said Rafa Donato, chief creative officer at David Miami, via email. “We decided to go for humor to make sure both Android users and iPhone users would be open to the message behind this campaign. This is a simple issue that can be fixed, so better [to] do it with a laugh.”

This is unlikely to happen anytime soon, as CEO Tim Cook has previously said that iPhone users aren’t interested in RCS. To those Android users frustrated by SMS and MMS, he said he’d “love to convert you to an iPhone.” Apple has also shown that limiting its RCS-like features to iMessage locks users in, preventing them from moving to their competitors.

Around half of U.S. smartphone owners have an iPhone.

Google’s ad is the latest iteration of its #GetTheMessage campaign, which began in 2022 and focuses on getting Apple to adopt RCS. The new spot will run online, out-of-home and on social media and through creators, who received 3D models of the iPager.

Google partnered with tech, lifestyle and comedic creators to reach iPhone users directly, including Tussalty, Milesabovetech, Karl Conrad, Alex & Jon, Samantha Jo, Alli Bellairs and Isabella Avila.

It will continue building on the #GetTheMessage campaign until Apple adopts RCS, Donato said

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