21 March 2014

Boots and Pants

There's a new Maxwell GEICO commercial out, of which I've only seen the last few seconds, where Maxwell is sitting by the pool (beach?) in a deck chair, phone in lap. He's jiggling his trotters whilst looking dreamily at the phone and chanting "boots and pants and boots and pants". I haven't the foggiest what that means. Probably some Angry Birds replacement.

But all is not a waste of time. The bit of schtick reminded me of Apple's hiring of that Burberry marketing exec a few months back. Remember that? At the time, I wrote that persuading the 1% to have lots of Burberry coats, each appropriate to its own occasion, was a bunch easier than convincing them to have lots of iPhones, one for each occasion. Then the iWatch rumoring went into high gear.

May be not so pointless, after all. "Coats and watches and coats and watches..." A watch is mostly fashion accessory, leastly utilitarian device. One might say the something of the same for today's smartphone. What percent of its use time is devoted to making phone calls? 10%? 1%? Still and all, there's not much traction to be had convincing folks to have more than one. Hell, with the rise of the phablet, Apple's going to face (if not already) the prospect of folks having one phablet over having an iPhone and iPad.

Watches, on the other hand, can be owned multiply and still make some sense. A sport watch, a dress watch, an old clunker in the desk for when you forget your office watch. And so on. The 1% are always open to the Stuyvesant scam. Hiring a coat hawker begins to make sense. Now, that means, of course, that Apple goes the way of multiple versions of iWatch, at the same time, a tack not taken with previous devices. We'll see.

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