Award-winning actor? Check.
Colorful cast of characters? Check.
Car crashes, mob standoffs and daring escape plans? Check.
If the formula works for summer blockbusters, why not a smartphone commercial? That seems to have been Verizon's strategy when it released "48 Hours," a series of short YouTube clips that advertise the latest Motorola Droid smartphones.
The first five clips don't show Edward Norton and barely feature the phone. Instead, they provide clues and hints for the viewer to work with to try and figure out how each scene fits in with others. It's only until the last minute and a half that the disparate events all come together.
Norton's antics highlight several features of the Droid phones. Voice-activated commands, turn-by-turn GPS directions, and real-time translation services are all woven into the plot of the commercial. But perhaps the biggest draw (and likely the inspiration for the film's title) is the phone's 48-hour battery life.
Celebrities are no strangers to promoting the latest gadgets on the market. (Ashton Kutcher was made the Lenovo Product Engineer last month.) Whether Norton's presence actually convinces people to invest in Droid remains to be seen, but at least it's an entertaining way to learn what makes these phones unique.