I'll admit it. I'm not a big football fan. I just can't get into it. And the Superbowl? Unless the Patriots or the Seahawks are in it, I'm only watching for the commercials. OK, even if the Pats or the Seahawks are in it, I'm still watching for the commercials. Which largely stunk this year. Great. One that I couldn't help but like, though? Motorola's ad for the Xoom. It made me chuckle. It made me say, "take that, Steve." It even made me want a Xoom.
I'm not sure you could get a more direct attack on Apple and their iOS ecosystem. Maybe if a Xoom exploded in Steve Jobs' hands, but otherwise, this commercial took no prisoners.
Will the Xoom be an iPad killer? Probably not. The iPad is simply too entrenched. However, as the first major foray into the Honeycomb-powered tablet market and, arguably, the strongest competitor to the iPad, the Xoom is an extremely important product to Google. Google, after all, sells neither phones nor tablets. The Nexus One retail debacle took care of that one. They don't even sell their mobile OS. It's open source. And yet, Google repeatedly identifies mobile as absolutely critical to their strategy.
Google instead relies on OEMs rolling out truly compelling hardware running Android with compelling apps and compelling interfaces to ensure that millions of people are searching via Google while they're mobile and to make sure that their AdWords platform is reaching as many mobile customers as possible. The Xoom hits all three areas of compelling. It doesn't have to be an iPad killer. It just needs to be a worthy iPad competitor.
What can the Xoom do for Google? It can be good enough that people no longer automatically think iPad when they think tablet. A well-done SuperBowl ad doesn't hurt anything either.