This is the day I normally offer up some reviews on the Super Bowl commercials.
This year, I suffered a bit of writer’s block. I couldn’t find a fresh way to say things like “This one was funny,” “This one was an embarrassment” and “Damn you, advertisers, for taking away the surprise by releasing ads a week before the game.”
So I’m going to sit this one out. I’ll listen to your opinions instead.
However, I will not sit idly by! In honor of the Super Bowl I’m setting the time machine back to 1985, when Apple ran its notoriously awful Lemmings commercial on that year’s Super Bowl.
Just twelve months earlier, Apple had stunned the technology and advertising worlds with its famous 1984 commercial, and Lemmings was meant to carry on the blockbuster tradition.
Instead, it was a dud of extraordinary proportions.
But what exactly is the origin of Lemmings? It’s a story that’s never been told publicly, and it’s definitely not what you think. Join me now on this journey down memory lane… More ▸
Recently, Apple hired Tor Myhren as VP of Marketing Communications.
He comes from Grey, where he was the global chief creative officer and president of the NY office.
To borrow some new Star Wars terminology, he’s a big deal in advertising.
On the surface, Tor’s hiring is what it is. But if you look a bit deeper, there are all sorts of juicy implications.
To better appreciate, one must first understand how Apple’s marketing has worked in the past, Steve Jobs-style.
Steve kept things simple. Basically, he trusted the right people to do the right job. He had the ad agency (called TBWA\Chiat\Day in 1997, becoming Media Arts Lab later) and his in-house creative group. The two had separate and distinct responsibilities.
The agency developed the big ad campaigns and the in-house group owned apple.com, product packaging and themes/signage for the retail Apple Stores. More ▸
Following the first shopping weekend of the holiday season, the news for Apple was refreshingly positive.
One could even say it was surprisingly positive, given the negativity preceding about downward trending iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch sales.
The new news was that Apple was off to a record-breaking start. Not only was Apple Watch a hot item, but even the lowly iPad was showing new life.
But wait! Surely there is some gloom hiding in there somewhere.
Yesterday, I awoke to see a Fortune article by Philip Elmer-Dewitt with the click-bait-ish headline Top 12 Reasons People Gave Up On The Apple Watch. Ominous! Except that once you understand the nature of the study, it’s not ominous at all.
Elmer-Dewitt is talking about a new survey from Internet research firm Wristly. Having previously reported 97% Apple Watch satisfaction ratings, their new survey is “the first formal survey of dissatisfied customers.” More ▸
I have to say, it’s awesome that an Appleslinger can be so quick on the draw. It pays to be fleet of foot, even if one is light of brain.
Once I got to the page, ancient memories were stirred. Yes, it’s more keen commentary from 24/7 Wall St., who once drew me in with their insightful observation that Apple Watch must be failing because Apple is running ads for it. Makes perfect sense. More ▸
And just to add to the effect, last week Apple introduced the new Magic Trackpad — featuring Force Touch.
You’d be forgiven if your first reaction was, “Good grief, Apple, make up your mind!” Having two kinds of Touches seemed uncharacteristically wishy-washy, especially with all of this happening in the span of a year. More ▸
I finally got around to watching Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine.
The verdict: two thumbs down. I only wish I had more thumbs to vote with.
I didn’t hate it because it’s a hatchet job. In fact, I’m not even sure it is a hatchet job. Much of it wanders aimlessly, exploring the good and bad sides of Steve Jobs.
It’s just not a well conceived or executed film — which is surprising, given that Gibney’s previous documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, was widely praised.
There’s a big difference between the two.
Going Clear explored a subject that is murky to most of us, and is based on a book that was extensively researched. The Man In The Machine is none of that. It’s simply a rehash of things that are well known about Steve, presented as if they’re news. More ▸
Who the heck do I think I am? I’m a creative director who’s had more than a few adventures in technology marketing, including branding, product naming and strategy. I have a long history with Apple and NeXT — where I took a blood oath to uphold the principles of simplicity.
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Currently, I have talks scheduled in these places.
(Public events are indicated by live links.)
16 March 2016: Asuncion,Paraguay
16 May 2016: Mexico City
20 May 2016: Kalamazoo, MI
01 June 2016: Madrid, Spain
21 Sept 2016: Prague, Czech Republic
26 Oct 2016: Mexico City