Section 1

Competition is a fundamental part of contemporary business and advertising is the most appropriate way to survive it. Williams (2000) stated that advertising is open to all businesses so they can avail themselves to direct public attention to the goods that are on sale. Williams describes advertising as a fair, legal and respectful approach to competition. Motorola is among the firms that believe in fairness, legitimacy and integrity in business and competition as it has availed itself through various media forms to inform the public about its unique Razr 2019.  Based on the unmatched features (e.g. zero-gap hinge, thinness, more pocketable, etc.) and functionalities of Motorola Razr 2019 (uses of its rear camera when the phone is folded or opened), it is apparent that the company intends to reorganize and control the market. It is also possible that the company advertised the product to determine the rate of demand so as to avoid overproduction. These are the features of modern advertising that Williams (2000) associated with post-Great Depression period (1875-1890s).

In modern advertising, therefore, the objectives include tariff growth, campaign for successful trade, and setting of product prices by manufacturers that desire to control market. It is also evident that the important role that advertising plays in the economy has made it a profession for individuals and organizations, and it has become a public service (Williams, 2000). People with advanced skills in advertising help companies (like Motorola) to bring their products to public knowledge, and the public has the right to be informed about fashionable products that match their dreams. The significance of advertising also promoted the development of ‘psychology of advertising’ (Williams, 2000). This involves provision of organized commercial information for the purpose of persuading. Williams explained that the persuasion process includes promises in the areas of reputation, quality and attractiveness. In the Motorola Razr 2019 advertisements, quality lies in the zero-gap hinge that enables the phone to close completely when folded to keep away debris and dust. This also forms part of the reputation, which is as well promoted by the fact that the product is one of the top-of-the-line flagship smartphones. In the November 13 2019 Wired report Goode Lauren revealed that the only difference between the phone and Samsung was that it costed a little less than Galaxy Fold, priced at $1,980 (compared to $1,500). On quality, the phone is made of stainless steel.

The primary goal of advertising in contemporary business environment is to sell the commodity in target market. However, Williams (2000) added that this material aim of sale is not sufficient in modern advertising because consumers want more forward-looking assurance (the promises). Again, the modern factory in which Motorola Company operates is based on capitalism because these private entities own the means of production while decisions regarding what to produce is influenced by minority groups in society, who have no direct role in the production process. For instance, Motorola has the resources required to produce mobile devices but what it manufactures has to be aligned with prevailing consumer demands to increase chances of successful sale once the product is advertised. The production process is as well impacted by factors such as industrial convenience and profitability. In producing Razr 2019, for instance, Motorola had to ensure that the product’s design matches those of top phones in the industry. This was for profit maximization and convenience.

Section 2

In a sociocultural context of production and reproduction, Armintage and Roberts (2016) associate luxury to very comfortable living or conditions. Luxury has close connection to contemporary consciousness. In relation to inessential things, luxury defines pleasure or comfort that define entitlement (elitism). The feeling entitlement to some luxuries results from hard work or purchase of expensive items or expression of desire for fashionable products of a popular brand (Armintage and Roberts, 2016). The meaning of luxury resides in the concerned context and preference by wealthy consumers. The context within which Motorola Razr 2019 resides is a smartphone age and it is among the highest priced phones. The Wired report by Goode Lauren described Motorola Razr 2019 as the first phone in the industry that has zero-gap hinge. This feature gives the phone its uniqueness among manufacturers that chose the folding/flip smartphone design. On to the price, the phone would be sold at $1,500. Consumers that purchase this product will feel ‘entitled’ for owning the luxury product.

Armintage and Roberts (2016) were thus correct in linking concept of luxury to extravagance. The use of Motorola Razr 2019 defines pleasure and enjoyment of rich, sumptuous and comfortable living and a shift towards consumption of items categorized as luxuries instead of necessities. This perspective satisfactorily describes the situation of market economy in modern world. In production and reproduction Armintage and Roberts (2016) argued that desires represent the demand for values but self-discipline can be calculated. It involves seeking the balance between benefits of either restricting or freeing commerce. This enables luxury goods to contribute positively to aspiration and enjoyment of the products. Motorola Company saw that what modern consumers desired was a smart phone that is more pocketable and designed such to improve enjoyment. Now it the consumers’ turn to decide if the phone is worth buying.

Armintage and Roberts (2016) argued that self-esteem is gained from shopping the advertised commodities. Modern companies understand this fact and use advertising to announce fashionable and luxury products. Given that the production of luxury commodities such as Motorola Razr 2019 is determined by the desires of consumers, purchase of these goods enable the achievement of the consumerists’ desires and dreams. The growth in media coverage is also crucial because it promotes dissemination of information concerning fashion and luxury. Press and journals like German’s Journal of Luxury and Fashion enabled commercial announcements to reach consumers in 1786 and 1827, and the modern world has more advanced media platforms that perform similar tasks.

Armintage and Roberts (2016) also emphasized the importance examining how the concept of luxury relates with ‘spirits’ that spread throughout the spirit of capitalism. The most relevant to the Razr 2019 advertisement is the new spirit of capitalism that suggests existence of three waves of spirits of capitalism. One happened in 19th century when bourgeois entrepreneurs were speculators, investors and innovators. As a speculator, the Motorola Company seeks profits in an environment where risk of loss also exists. Investment into and innovation of products are also part of the firm’s operations. Secondly, in 1930 through 1960, entrepreneurs began controlling larger corporations. Concepts such as planner, rational organizing and careerist emerged as second form of the spirit of capitalism. The third spirit of capitalism was dictated by transformation, the consistent rise in global competition and emergence of dominant organizational figure in contemporary market. Motorola runs its business in a contemporary market which requires it to plan, rationally organize and focus on expertise to compete with others in the industry.

Section 3

Chrostowska (2010) explained that nostalgia marketing model requires firms to commodify affective recollections that contain nostalgia and associated activities. Motorola is an example of companies that has used this style to market a commodity. From the advertisements of Motorola Razr 2019, it is evident that the company capitalizes on nostalgia to maximize profits through sale of memories of the original Razr. The information one derives from the advertisement is that memories of the early 2000s Razr can be reproduced and transferred. Nostalgia marketing has the ability to transport consumers back to a point in time where life seems simpler, to help them forget the complexities of the present modern world. It encourages individuals to concentrate on things they already consider great (Chrostowska, 2010). Similarly, Motorola Razr 2019 advertisement captures a time (early 2000s) before emergence of smartphones when the company introduced its flip phone (Razr). Razr was a tiny phone with small screen and number-based keyboard. Consumers loved the phone for its simplicity. So, in the commercial advert, the old-school Razr lifts itself off a table and begins to fly through air where its old features peel off continually until a new design is unveiled. At the end, the new design opens and a touch screen like of an Android phone is revealed.

Another significant concept that Chrostoska (2010) discussed is that the regenerated past possesses less power to stay. The author elaborated that once the historical contents have been used to meet the intended commercial goal, such contents cease. In other words, the modern consumer is made to understand that the historical products have been downgraded or devalued due to competitiveness (demand for advanced products). In the commercial advertisement, the theme song (“They don’t make them like me no more” by Pigeon John) speaks about this fact. It appears like the song is sung by the old-school Razr, which now feels that Motorola Company stopped making consumers like its features and abilities. For this reason, the original Razr must get rid of its old-fashion features and functionalities to give the consumers what it knows they are looking for. Again, the real reason the phone requires such upgrading is because the modern world has entered a smartphone age. Therefore, the aim of using the old product that people knew and used is to recollect the smallest details of the past and show consumers the link between what they used back then and the product which they should buy. As Chrostowska (2010) explained, the interaction between nostalgia and capitalism reaffirms the capacity of individualists in the society to recover desirable aspects of past creations.

Chrostowska’s work basically focuses of capitalist nostalgia, a perspective that concentrates on retrieval or repossession of the lost past/temporalities. It offers tribute to the past as a way of empathizing with it before moving on to the reinvention of an identity (Chrostowska, 2010). This is exactly what the Motorola Razr 2019 announcement does. It begins by offering tribute to the original version of the flip phone to recall the excitement it brought during its time. The movement through violent air waves that peel off the outdated physical features is a portrayal of the suffering and self-sacrificing process that that it undergoes to reveal what suits the contemporary consumers. Chrostowska (2010) stated that pathos of nostalgia such as excitement, suffering, self-sacrifice and salvation promotes marketing of new products.