Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Apple’s latest ads are lame, but at least they communicate something

So about the ads for Apple that debuted during the Olympics…you hate them, right?

They’ve been responsible for (just about) as much social media chatter as the games themselves.

In case you haven’t seen them:

Feels a little off brand, doesn’t it?

Of course it does! Why after years of being convinced via Justin Long that Mac is the hip/cool PC alternative are we suddenly being subjected to his polar opposite?

A fidgety, whiny “Mac Genius” who can’t seem to get a single articulation out of his mush mouth – who is this kid supposed to convince that a Mac is the right way to go?

But at least the ads are trying to communicate something

Ease of use. If you can get beyond the initial culture shock, you’ll see that the new ads are designed to: 
  1. Promote/reaffirm software exclusivity: in the wake of non-Apple imitators, we’re reminded that there is only one iLife. 
  2. Showcase intuitive UI and ease of use: to quell the fears of PC loyalists who feel converting to Mac will leave them less tech savvy then they already are.  
I don’t know about you, but I had about all I could take of Apple’s go-to creative style prior to last week.

You know, the formula:
Hi-res, larger-than-life shot of iProduct + Caucasian finger manipulating product + ample white space
It feels like we’ve been staring at these images for years.

It’s become white (on white) noise.

But in Apple’s defense, dominating the market affords a little laziness in creative exposé  

While Apple owns the portable music, tablet, and, to a lesser extent, mobile markets – when it comes to desktop computing, they’ve still got work to do.

A market in decline, no doubt – but still a vital component to Apple’s rounded portfolio. While gadgets like the iPod, iPhone and iPad have acted as gateway drugs to fuel Apple IT addiction, it’s not enough. Year-on-year growth has only delivered Mac 21% of the PC market (Jan 2012).

That’s what the new commercials are (trying) to do, and we applaud Apple’s efforts.

We can’t help but wonder though if they might have been able to score the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” guy. Talk about converting a “PC loyalist” - THAT would have made for some kick-ass spots!


  1. This guy makes me nervous to watch. Like at any second he's going to whip out a condescending, sarcastic remark and embarrass me. But now that you've mentioned it, I WAS actually starting to tune out the old Apple ads. You're right, they were all the same.

    1. The kid is goofy. I'm not sure what they are going for with his persona - perhaps they've been dealing with mounting perceptions of Mac users being elitist tool-bags? This brings back some of that "humble/small guy" mentality. (I STILL hate it tho).

      Re: the white-on-white Apple protocol advertising of late - can we REALLY kiss it goodbye? the jury is still out. I suppose we'll have to see what the next iteration of product-specific promos bring, but I'm hopeful this commercial style, however corny, ushers in something new.