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. Continue reading →
Bad enough that Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch is being universally panned by reviewers.
Now the product’s launch commercial is getting the same treatment. Mostly because it’s a shameless copy of the very first iPhone commercial.
No argument here about the blatant nature of this rip-off. However, my problem is a more basic one:
The ad is crap.
Rule number one when you set out to copy someone else’s work: “Do it well.” In ignoring this rule, Samsung has set itself up for the double whammy — attacked for being unoriginal and creatively anemic. Continue reading →
What a juicy couple of weeks we’ve had in the iPhone world. New phones, new iOS, new ads and the inevitable flood of opinions.
What the heck, I’ll throw a few more into the mix.
iPhone 5c. I was withholding judgment until I could get my hands on one. I have to say, holding it in one’s hand is a very different experience than seeing a photo or video. Thanks to the new design, it almost feels thinner than the 5s even though it’s not. Very easy to love.
The theme lines. “Forward thinking” and “For the colorful.” I want to like them, I really do. They just feel a bit too calculated for my taste. I wholeheartedly agree that much of the 5s technology is forward thinking, especially the 64-bit part. But the line is more logical and strategic than it is seductive. I get that Apple is forward-thinking by reveling in its design and functionality. A great theme line would cap it off with a little magic. Continue reading →
Thanks to YouTube, we’re often treated to commercials from around the world.
Some are really fun to watch. Others, like this one from Samsung Iceland, are truly inexplicable.
Despite its many flaws, this spot does an excellent job of highlighting a philosophical difference between Samsung and Apple. (In case you needed another.)
What’s the best way for a company to build its brand across so many different countries and cultures? Centralize advertising at corporate HQ? Or empower local agencies to “do their thing”?
Local agencies leap at any opportunity to show off their creativity. It’s far more fulfilling than executing ideas born elsewhere. Unfortunately, agencies who are given more freedom can end up diluting or damaging the brand — as evidenced by Exhibit A above. Continue reading →
Last week, a story spread through the Applesphere that Apple’s new brand commercial, Our Signature, is a flop.
This, according to Ace Metrix, which is in the business of researching such things for its clients. (See Bloomberg Businessweek story here).
On the heels of this story came another, in which it was revealed that Ace Metrix has on its client roster a company called … Samsung.
Naturally, that revelation sparked some good conspiracy theories. Like this one: Maybe Ace Metrix is saying that the ad is bad because in fact it’s really good. But since Samsung is pulling the strings, they’re saying it’s bad so Apple might believe the numbers and take it off the air. Score another point for Samsung.
A few weeks ago, Apple started running a new commercial for iPhone.
I thought it was a beautiful spot. It’s perfectly produced and acted, hits the right emotional notes and demonstrates how iPhone photography has become deeply ingrained in our culture.
With a second spot, this approach becomes a campaign. The most recent commercial (above) uses the identical structure, this time celebrating our love of music.
We see situations that capture the many ways we interact with music, and then the voiceover comes on to seal the deal: “Every day, more people enjoy their music on the iPhone than any other phone.”
It’s a good sequel to the first ad, which concluded “Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera.”
While Samsung is out there showering us with ads celebrating the new features in the Galaxy S4, Apple isn’t talking about product features at all — other than the fact that iPhone takes pictures and plays music. Continue reading →
A wise man in advertising once said that 90% of the world’s ads failed before the creative team even got the assignment. Not enough time was spent first honing the strategy.
However, one can’t diminish the importance of the creative execution. Because there are a hundred ways to bring a strategy to life, and it takes talent and smarts to do this well.
With its newest commercial for iPhone, Apple (or, I should say, agency TBWA\Chiat\Day) provides a wonderful demonstration of the power of creativity — the ability to take a simple idea and turn it into a stunner.
Some say this might be the best iPhone ad ever made.
What this commercial does so well is capture the human side of technology. It’s a reflection of daily life, and it’s easy to see ourselves in it. The ad shows us how essential our phones have become, enabling us to capture the people, places and images we don’t want to forget.
[Sorry, but it seems that jcpenney has destroyed the evidence. The ad discussed here has been yanked from YouTube. Fortunately, they can't censor the news story containing the ad — so I'm publishing that here instead.]
Whether you love or hate jcpenney, whether you love or hate Ron Johnson, this commercial gives us a good, juicy topic.
jcpenney is in a sorry state. Literally. It is now running this public apology, admitting mistakes and begging its old customers to come back.
This ad definitely defies conventional wisdom. To many, it feels too much like an oil company apologizing for spilling a few million gallons of gunk into the environment.
Most marketers in jcp’s position would be sensitive to sounding desperate and take a more positive approach. There are many bold and happy ways to send out a similar message of change.
So this move by jcpenney is either unexpectedly brilliant or astonishingly dumb. I think this is open to debate, and would love to hear your opinions.
Is jcpenney in such sad shape, on the edge of extinction, that it must do something extreme? Or have its marketing skills crumbled under the pressure and sunk to an incredible new low? Continue reading →
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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