Jul 11

Apple tries on a business suit

Apple always had this nagging little problem getting computers into the corporate world: the IT guys were ready to shoot Macs on sight.

Happily, the Mac’s business woes are mattering less these days, mostly because the real fun is happening in mobile.

With iPhone and iPad, Apple isn’t quite as taboo anymore. Though IT guys still resist, a revolution is a hard thing to stop. It also helps when the CEO sends over a note saying, “I want an iPhone right now.”

Combine this with the fact that BlackBerry is doing a fabulous job of self-combusting, and Apple has all kinds of good business prospects. Which makes this the perfect time for them to start fanning the flames of discontent.

Personally, I don’t read The Economist. I get too depressed when I think about money. But someone over at MacRumors does — and spotted this iPhone ad on the back page.

And this gives me the opportunity to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done in this blog: review a print ad from Apple.

iPhone loves business. With over 425,000 apps, the best phone for apps just keeps getting better.

There’s no mention of IT’s old objections to iPhone here. It’s all apps, all the time. So this ad appears to be designed to seduce those who don’t answer to IT, and to dial up the pressure on IT by feeding the groundswell of iPhone requests.

Apple has a web page devoted to the business market, where it deals with all the standard business arguments: security, Microsoft Exchange compatibility, remote locking/wiping, etc. But this ad references neither those features nor the URL.

That aside, is the ad any good? Well, it’s not exactly an Apple Hall-of-Famer. The best Apple ads get torn out of magazines and taped to office walls. They generate buzz. They make other advertisers wonder why they can’t have ads that good. This ad is more … workmanlike.

In fact, you could replace the iPhone in this ad with an Android phone and it would still make perfect sense. (Especially since, iWork aside, the featured apps appear to be available on Android too.)The only real point of difference is that little number “425,000” tucked in at the bottom. But then we all know that the number of business apps is far, far less.

When I was a tiny little ad writer many years ago, it was explained to me that when we talked to business readers, we couldn’t be as witty or entertaining, because these guys are serious. I never bought that argument. Neither did Apple.

One reason Apple marketing is so widely admired is that the Apple spirit is alive in every ad, whether it’s aimed at consumers, educators or business people.

Maybe it’s in here somewhere and I just haven’t found it yet…

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  • qka

    iWork, featured in the ad, is most certainly not available for Android.

  • ken segall

    True, thanks. I revised the post. Still, there is little differentiation in the ad, and iWork has only limited appeal to this crowd.

  • Jason Parry

    I cant click to enlarge?

  • ken segall

    Unfortunately, no. This is the size of the image as reported by MacRumors. I scoured the web for a better image, but no luck.

  • nando

    apple expect 4,5 millions ipad2 sold last quarter, rumors predict 8 millions have being sold , 18,5 millions iphone sold same quarter (we will find out next week) numbers are the best ad to businessmen.

  • Mac

    Hello Ken,

    I want to thank you for such a beautiful post. It is really amazing to read your posts. Today I visited your blog for the first time and found it very very interesting.

    Thanks again!

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