Jony, Jony, Jony—now look what you’ve done.
With one little “I quit,” you dragged all of us across the line separating Apple Classic and New Apple.
We had one foot over that line already with Steve’s passing. This just makes it final—the last spiritual connection to the old Apple is now behind us.
Not that your exit is a surprise. You certainly dropped enough hints. Thank you for staying long enough to keep things stable in the post-Steve era.
But yeah, it does hurt a little to see you go off to LoveFrom. Not the career move—I’m talking about the company name. Wish you’d thought a little harder on that one. Continue reading…
On March 25th, Tim Cook unveiled Apple Card—”the future of credit cards.”
WTF? Fiasco! Yet another Apple blunder! Has Tim Cook lost it? Steve Jobs would never do this!!
Well … not so fast. The truth is, Steve Jobs actually did do this. At least he tried to.
The proof is likely hidden in a secret vault buried deep inside Apple Park. Fortunately, it’s also right here on my archive drive. Continue reading…
What a difference a few decades make.
During the 1985 Super Bowl broadcast, Apple followed up its previous—and widely acclaimed—Super Bowl commercial, 1984, with a little disaster called Lemmings.
Designed to seduce business customers with “The Macintosh Office,” it actually insulted its intended target by depicting them as, uh … Lemmings.
34 years later, Apple is again making its pitch to business. This time, it’s a bit more down to earth—and infinitely more convincing. Continue reading…
If there was a Beginner’s Guide To Corporate Screwups, surely it would explore the tried-and-true ways for companies to shoot themselves in the foot.
Release buggy software. Fail to protect customer data. Run a bad ad. See your CEO arrested. So many possibilities!
But AirPower is not your stereotypical screwup. It’s something far grander. Never in history has Apple announced a product, gone silent about it for 18 months, and then killed it before it ever shipped.
At least it proves that Apple can be a true innovator in the area of self-immolation.
“Freedom to fail” is actually a liberating thing, essential to the Apple culture. In an internal meeting, I once heard Steve Jobs defend Apple’s large cash reserve by saying, “It gives us the freedom to jump as high as we want. If we fail, we will always have solid ground beneath our feet.”
Unfortunately, AirPower isn’t the “liberating” kind of failure. It’s just shocking and sad. Continue reading…
Zinger! Bang! Take that, Android!
Apple ran a witty (and wordy) billboard outside the CES Show in Vegas this week, and it became a news story in itself.
If you’re relatively new to Apple, this sudden burst of verbosity must have come as a shock. You might have thought that the non-headline “iPhone XR” was as clever as Apple gets in a billboard.
Is this a whole new Apple? Or just a temporary lapse of humdrum?
Actually, it’s an echo of an earlier Apple, when headlines would both amuse and inform.
Steve Jobs’ goal was never just to sell a product. It was to build a stronger brand, and headlines were a big part of that.Continue reading…
Steve Jobs once quoted Picasso: “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”
True that. Innovative thinkers invent, observe and assimilate. They merge the old and new to create something fresh.
Apparently, the good and great artists were hard at work on Apple’s latest ad, Color Flood. I quite enjoyed it. But even as I watched it for the first time, I was visited by the Ghosts of Advertising Past.Continue reading…
Ben Franklin said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Until last week, I would have added “Jony Ive product videos” to that list.
Apple had a formula for these videos and it wasn’t about to budge—beauty shots and engineering animations, accompanied by Jony’s intelligently philosophical voice.
It’s gone on for so many years, I’ve actually lost count.
It’s not like the videos didn’t work. Apple sales certainly never suffered. It’s just felt odd that a company that puts creativity front and center would become so formulaic.
But all that changed last week when Apple unveiled two new videos—for MacBook Air and iPad Pro—and we didn’t hear a peep from Jony. I’m still recovering from the shock.
Thank the marketing gods for giving Apple a much-deserved kick in the butt. Continue reading…
My bubble has officially been burst.
Though I’ve had issues with iPhone naming for years, I’ve always assumed there was an underlying strategy, enigmatic as it might be.
Apparently I was giving Apple too much credit.
When Phil Schiller sat down with Engadget recently, he casually confessed that the S and the R have no real meaning. They’re just letters.
This news doesn’t exactly collapse the space-time continuum. However, it does rattle my personal belief system. Let me explain—Continue reading…
Every September, I eagerly await the unveiling of the new iPhones. I also feel a sense of dread, wondering what Apple is going to call them.
That’s because, when it comes to iPhone naming, Apple seems to wage a war against common sense.
Last year’s models set new standards for complexity. We had an 8, 8 Plus, X and SE. That’s two numbers, one Roman numeral, one paring of letters, plus an odd numerical gap between 8 and 10. Or, in Apple lingo, between 8 and X.
It’s hard to imagine how a family of only four products could end up with such needlessly complicated names—especially coming from the company that wrote the book on simplicity.
So how do the iPhone names look in 2018?Continue reading…
Okay, Farmers. You’ve enjoyed your monopoly on silly insurance ad jingles long enough. This is war!
Liberty Mutual has now marched into the arena, armed with a jingle even more annoying than yours. Surrender now, or you will see no mercy.
What Liberty Mutual did is actually pretty rare in this business. After running an ad campaign for at least a couple of years, they decided to “enhance” it with a new jingle at the end—a veritable body blow to competitors taken from the Classic Book of Advertising, circa 1964.
I’m painfully aware of how hard it is to come up with smart strategies and creative executions. I also know how many meetings it takes to sell a creative idea to people who may not see what you see.
That said, I can’t explain how ideas that deserve a quick and merciful death survive a process that includes multiple checkpoints at both the agency and client. The best I can do is imagine how the final meeting went…Continue reading…