The Galaxy Nexus “Calling all pretty faces” is an homage to Apple in more ways than one

Android marketing has come a long way from the 2009 TV ad for Motorola’s Droid that asked:

“Should a phone be pretty?”

Judging from the spot that debuted Thursday for the Galaxy Nexus — the new Android smartphone manufactured by Samsung for Google — Google’s GOOG answer in 2011 is an emphatic “yes!”

The ad — like the phone itself — is a multilayered homage to Apple AAPL , from the quiet narration and background music to the copy, an echo of Apple’s 1997 “Think Different” campaign (“here’s to crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels…”). Note especially the tight focus on the user and what she or he can do with the device.

Contrast that with the “racehorse duct-taped to a Scud missile” in the Droid ad below.

Kudos, Google.