Sep 11

Of icons, PCs and the third Apple founder

I’m not quite ready to proclaim a full-blown news crisis — but there’s a serious lack of stories begging for commentary today. I suspect a conspiracy.

Lost iPhone 5? Feels familiar. Carol Bartz getting canned by Yahoo? Boring. Carol Bartz saying naughty words on video? Only slightly less boring.

No, I’m afraid I’ll have to break format today. Some assorted items from the grab bag:

Bad design from Apple?

What's it mean?

It’s always fun to point out that Apple isn’t perfect. Dr. Macenstein offers up Apple’s worst icons, a quick tour of some bad Apple art. My personal least-favorite has always been the icon for iWeb. The doctor is right.

The lost art of code names

Apparently, all the good ones were taken. The next update to Android is code named Ice Cream Sandwich. Further proof that code names are not created in the creative department.

New PCs for HP to dump

It was big news when HP announced they’d be getting rid of their PC group. What better way to celebrate than to announce eight new PC models coming in the next two months. Maybe they’ll dump those for $99 too?

What Apple ads would look like without Apple

It takes some kind of talent to distill something as cool as iPad into a commercial as mediocre as this. But Verizon was up to the task. Stunning. In the old days, Apple had to approve ads from its partners-in-crime. I suspect that rule has been eased.

The Steve Jobs biography meets its match

Ron Wayne, the long-forgotten “third partner” at Apple back at the dawn of time, sold his 10% of the company back to those two other guys for $800. This secures his place in history as the Pete Best of the computer industry. Now Ron has published his own biography called Adventures of an Apple founder. This one doesn’t even bother to start off as a hardcover.

Have a good weekend, all.

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  • ViewRoyal

    “It takes some kind of talent to distill something as cool as iPad into a commercial as mediocre as this.”

    The Verizon ad is really not as bad as you make it out to be.

    Remember that it is a 30-second ad that advertises both the iPad as well as the Verizon service. It combines the two objectives well by having a Verizon store shown with a sales associate talking to a customer, and ending with the Verizon map and blurb. In between it shows the iPad in use.

    It melds the two advertising objectives fairly seamlessly. (I’ll bet that Apple did have approval on this co-op ad).

    Let’s face it, we’ve seen a lot worse co-op ads out there (the Droid ads for example ;-).

  • ken segall

    @View. With all respect, I think a lot of bad ads get sent off into the world because of this rationale.

    My problem is not with the content of the spot. It’s the execution. For any set of facts, there are a thousand ways to express them in an ad. Some are stiff, boring or expected, other ways get viewers so interested that they’ll actually share with friends.

    This is what separates great ads from mediocre ones.

    I think most ads fail because those responsible tend to grade them with a checklist. If the ad says everything it was supposed to say, all is well. But, as Apple knows, a good ad has far more than that going for it.

    As for Apple approving this ad or not … you’re probably right. But I know from having worked on the inside that at a certain point, you can be forced to say, “I guess that’s as good as we’re going to get from these guys.” I have to believe that if Apple’s agency created the ad, it would be a heck of a lot better.