Oct 13

iPhone 5s ad: Apple goes for the gold

Ah, relief. After a number of commercials all dedicated to the iPhone 5c, we finally have one for the iPhone 5s.

Some sites, such as The Verge, suggest that this shift might reflect reports that the iPhone 5c is not selling well and the iPhone 5s is a runaway hit.

However, that doesn’t exactly pass the common sense test.

If one of your two products needs a jumpstart, you beef up the advertising for it — not shift to a product you can’t keep in stock. I suspect the reason is much simpler: Apple has a new line of iPhones and wants to sell a bunch of them.

But forget marketing theory for the moment. What do we think of the ad?

Well, if you’re of the mind that Apple has become formulaic with its ads, there’s nothing here to dissuade you. Even by its title, iPhone 5s’s Metal Mastered (above) is a perfect replica of iPhone 5c’s Plastic Perfected.

Now we have molten gold morphing into an iPhone instead of melted plastic morphing into an iPhone.

I’m actually surprised that the first iPhone 5s commercial, like the iPhone 5c commercials, is all about color.

But wait, you say. This spot isn’t just about color. It’s also about Touch ID. We see the new Home button falling into place, and the phone springing to life when that button is touched by a human finger.

Well, if you see Touch ID in that demo, you’re already aware of it. To the uninitiated, it simply looks like a finger starting up a phone by pressing the Home button. Just like always. Few will notice that the slider step is missing.

Obviously, gold is very, very hot. Apple has done a super-smart thing by adding it to the lineup. It’s just that at the end of the day, gold alone isn’t much of a reason to buy an iPhone over the Samsung Galaxy S4 — especially when so many are worrying about Apple’s ability to innovate.

Advertising is not an either/or proposition. A perfectly simple iPhone 5s ad could feature a clever demonstration of Touch ID using using a beautifully shot gold iPhone 5s. A double-dose of lust-inducing revelations.

The iPhone 5c is all about color. And rightfully so, since technology-wise it contains nothing very new. Its attractiveness as a consumer product is derived exclusively from color — plus it has a lower price to boot.

iPhone 5s is about so much more. It lays claim to serious innovation — plus it’s also available in gold.

That’s the real order of priority in iPhone 5s messaging, and no doubt this will become clear in the ads we see in the coming months.

But hey, if Microsoft can start its Surface revolution with some dancing and clicking, surely we can start celebrating iPhone 5s with a celebration of gold.

  • Oransky

    People are panting for this phone right now, so for me the spot reinforces how utterly cool and got-to-have it is. I agree with you that Touch ID, camera and other new features will soon follow.

  • Juliusz

    I disagree. I see the iP5s Gold as the most high-end of the iPhones (even tough it isn’t any different from other iP5s color options). I think that many people buying the gold version look for having the best of the best “luxurious” phone. And that will never be a Samsung (it isn’t a “sexy” brand like Apple) – it will always be an iPhone, and now surely in gold. I think that for consumer looking for different, less shiny/showy color options, the feature like Touch ID might be a good selling proposition, whereas the gold’s color customers… Well, here is a different thing :)
    That is why I like the ad and think it is well positioned.

  • dorkus_maximus

    This ad is all about creating emotional lust. Imagine how weird it would be if there were some voiceover talking megapixels or 64 bit processing. It would be like looking into a beautiful woman’s eyes and telling her the hexadecimal code for the color of her irises.

  • dr.no

    touch id is already in national magazine print ad
    since the beginning of the month.

  • Andrew fields

    I don’t quite buy that people need much educating about Apple products at this point, especially with the iPhone. Even if Apple didn’t run any print ad, or even posted the Touch ID video, a huge portion of the smartphone buying public would know about it within the month. Apple emphasized an important fact: iPhone is sexier than any other mobile device of any class.

  • ksegall

    You are not reading my point correctly. I would never suggest that Apple create an ad that merely lists tech specs. I am suggesting that Apple create an ad that presents a gorgeous, lust-worthy product with a killer feature — as it has done many times in the past.

  • ksegall

    If that were true, Apple wouldn’t need to advertise at all. There are millions and millions of potential customers out there who do not follow the technology press. They have but a fleeting knowledge of Apple and its products. What the majority knows is what they are exposed to in the media — where Samsung has been outspending Apple more than 3-1.

  • One small detail I thought was clever was the track they chose to use in this ad: Ooh La La by the British group Goldfrapp.

  • …although I read that this song has been used in various ads since 2005

  • Jim

    I think they try to focus on being high-end luxury brand compared to samsung. Maybe that’s why they hired the CEO of Burberry. Think the ad focus on the one thing that’s real visual different = “gold” then people get curious what does the new iPhone do.

    Then comes the contradiction to launch the color iPhone. In Europe the prices are almost set to be around the same as iPhone 5 for the iPhone 5c. So it isn’t that cheap. Don’t really get why they launched two phones at the same time. They could have market all resources on one iPhone launch at a time and keep apple fresh. Think the names are so confusing. Would not believe Steve would choose a name like that starting to sound a little like Nokia not simple. Could it at least been named iPhone Color. Then iPhone color would appear as a different product like iPod nano and shuffle. Just as confusing as the iPad called the new iPad I had a hard time making sure I got the “newest” of the new iPad.


  • 21tigermike

    If only there was a way to associate lust with products…..
    #advertising #kardashian

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