Watching the Olympics over the weekend i noticed a bunch of ads for Apple’s geniuses.
In a departure from the cool nothing-but-the-facts ads of the Steve Jobs era, these are intended to be funny.
Unfortunately, the ads are “funny” in the way that every other advertiser (that isn’t Apple and doesn’t have amazing products and services) tries to be. And it smacks of that same desperate desire to be noticed and liked.
Dudes, you’re Apple. Not Best Buy. You stand high on the mountain top, so please don’t stoop to the level of everyone else with a TV budget.
If you MUST be funny (and I’d think long and hard about that) remember there are different types of funny. And there are ways of being really entertaining without resorting to comedy: everybody’s default.
And these ads just feels flat and uninspired. The antithesis of everything Apple has come to stand for.
It’s actually damaging the brand in my opinion.
This was recently published in Fortune magazine.
It was written by Rob Siltanen, the guy who wrote that famous commercial that helped kickstart the revival of the Apple brand.
You can and should read it here.
I remember when that commercial came out i was one of those who thought it was a stretch at the time.
And it was a stretch. A huuuuuuuuuuuuuge stretch.
Gandhi for Apple? Really? Who’s next, Mother Theresa? Oh, you have her too! I see…
But it all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
Because everyone delivered in ways that were unimaginable at the time.
Though I will say i did happily buy myself a purple iMac when they came out shortly after this campaign ran.
The saying ‘success has many fathers but failure is an orphan’ is one i’ve personally experienced more than once. A good thing!
So it’s nice to hear the actual writer’s side of the story. And good to see him going out of his way to credit everyone involved.
That matters. Boy does that matter!
Nice job Mr. Siltanen.
I find it interesting to watch how much our culture continues to revere Steve Jobs.
I am a huge Mac fan. I have only used Apple computers. Never a PC.
The cult of Apple has all the necessaries for a religion.
A hugely charismatic founder who created miracles, developed a huge following and died early.
And in the wake of death, his writings and speeches are being analyzed and shared for their wisdom and sometimes quite deep observations.
Yup, Steve had it all.
I came across this video today.
The power of his personality is palpable.
I hope you don’t mind me calling you Steve. And i hope you’re in good health. Here’s the deal. Yesterday I went to the Apple store on Michigan Avenue (chicago) because my macbook pro appeared to be acting up for some reason. so off i trudge to the apple store. turned out i had stupidly gotten moisture into it somehow. all my fault. stupid, stupid, stupid. so anyway there i sat. my enchantment with the apple brand ebbing away. katie, the apple genius, did all she could to console me as she tried in vain to enter my job into her system. it just wasn’t working. i was in no real hurry but Katie was apologetic and actually seemed to care. you don’t see too much of that these days.
After a while Katie just gave up trying and, apologizing profusely, informed me that there would be no charge for the repair to my computer due to the length of time i had been there. i couldn’t believe it. i could think of worse places to hang out than the apple store.
The interesting thing was that she had the power to make this decision without a bunch of BS. She made the call. And instantly restored my faith in the apple brand. i came back from the store an evangelist. telling anyone who would listen about my experience. this is why apple is one of the best brands in the world. and why microsoft can bleat on and on and on about what a ripoff an apple computer is and it won’t make the slightest bit of difference.
humanity, not technology, is the killer app.
So Steve, promote Katie pronto. she kicks ass.