Criticizing Apple intro events is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s so easy, anyone can play.
“Where’s the magic?” “Where are the surprises?” “The humor?” “Why so glossy and slick?”
If you’re looking for a culprit, you know where to find him. Tim Cook is responsible for every bit of the content. He’s proven himself guilty of one major crime: he isn’t Steve Jobs.
So, yeah, these things are flawed—but they are hardly useless. Continue reading…
Yikes! Intel has launched a new anti-Mac campaign. The nerve of those people—they signed Apple’s “I’m a Mac” guy to attack his former employer. This is war!
Actually, it’s only the latest battle in the Mac vs. PC war that’s raged for 38 years. It’s a war being waged on three fronts—technology, marketing and culture.
And guess what. Through all these years, Apple has almost always been the aggressor. Only rarely has the PC side felt threatened enough to push back.
So, what do we make of Intel’s new campaign? Hold that thought, because it’s best judged in the context of history—and a juicy history it is.
I might overlook some important moments, but I’ll give it my best shot. Continue reading…
All hail the M1 processor!
No question, Apple Silicon is a very big deal. But—it’s an even bigger deal in the context of Apple history. Monolithic even.
Cue the 2001: A Space Odyssey metaphor.
In the movie, an enigmatic Monolith is discovered beneath the surface of the moon. Planted by extraterrestrials eons ago, it’s actually a marker of human evolution. When exposed to the sun, it emits a signal to notify its makers that humankind is no longer bound to this earth.
The M1 chip is Apple’s very own Monolith. Exposed to the world, it sends a signal that Apple, after decades of evolution, has reached an epochal milestone.
To explain, a little archaeological dig is in order… Continue reading…
Life can be so cruel.
Pity poor Apple. All year, its products compete head-to-head against those from other tech companies. But when its big holiday ad goes up, it must compete with itself—forever haunted by the Ghost of Great Apple Holiday Ads Past.
So how does the 2020 Tierra Whack ad compare?
Not particularly well. Thank you for the entertainment, Apple, but you forgot the parts that made your previous holiday ads so memorable.
You didn’t relate to the joys and sorrows that come with being human. You didn’t express the joy you get by helping people connect emotionally. You didn’t celebrate your core values, which are so relevant during the holiday season.
More specifically… Continue reading…
Damn, HomePod mini looked pretty great in Apple’s unveiling last week.
They had me from the first image where it sat elegantly on the side table. Simple. Clean. Not a cord in sight!
It was my ultimate music-player-intelligent-assistant fantasy come true. A gorgeous device I could put absolutely anywhere.
Until it wasn’t.
Silly me. I made the unforgivable error of believing my eyes. At the very end of that scene, for just the briefest moment, came a glimpse of a cord trailing away from mini.
From there, Apple took us on a winding path visually, with the vast majority of shots showing a “cordless” HomePod mini. A casual viewer could be forgiven for drawing the wrong conclusion.
Out of curiosity, I went back for a re-viewing. Continue reading…
Once upon a time, eight Senior VPs formed Steve Jobs’ inner circle.
Steve empowered them because they were talented, strategic, trusted and in tune with his vision.
Well, time marches on. Apple doesn’t have Steve anymore. Tim Cook has reigned for nearly nine years. One by one, most of Steve’s Gang of Eight have been replaced.
Today only Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams remain. The original Big Guns of hardware, software, retail, marketing, finance and legal have all checked out. Continue reading…
America loves a good “fall from grace” story. At the moment, The Ellen Show is serving up an excellent one.
Public accusations from staff have been nonstop.
Sexual harassment. Bullying. Out-of-control managers. Toxic work environment. It’s a smorgasbord of nasty.
If true, there are but two explanations. Either the real Ellen falls way short of her lovable public image, or she empowered her managers and failed to oversee them.
In other words, Ellen is either a bad person or a bad CEO.
I’m not exactly an insider. But I did spend two months working in Ellen’s world producing JCPenney’s $5 million, five-part Ellen campaign on the 2012 Oscars. Continue reading…
I swear, I try to avert my eyes—but I keep getting drawn into the sad saga of JCPenney. Why is that?
Morbid fascination? Schadenfreude? Personal guilt? (I had a hand in two years’ worth of JCP’s ads on the Oscars.)
Actually, I’m not that deep. It’s just that JCP’s failure has been more like a decade-long crumble, and it has such great lessons to offer.
Once “America’s Favorite Store,” JCP has now filed for bankruptcy protection. A single share of JCP stock, once priced over $83, goes for 18 cents as I write this.
It’s tempting to cut JCP a break, since the current crisis has hurt so many companies. But—this crisis only pushed JCP over the edge of the cliff where it was already perched. Continue reading…
January 24th was the 35th anniversary of Macintosh, bless its little soul.
In reading a number of articles, I got to enjoy the original Macintosh intro event all over again. It’s a vivid reminder that Steve Jobs’ showmanship and obsession with detail was in full bloom way back at the beginning.
One of the those details was “the speech.” (About 3:05 into the video.). Steve wanted to have the first Mac to speak for itself—
Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I’d like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER YOU CAN’T LIFT! Obviously, I can talk, but right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me… Steve Jobs.
That made me smile, and it got me wondering: who actually wrote these words. Steve? One of his minions? Continue reading…
It’s that time again. We could talk about the best campaign of the year—but where’s the fun in that?
For your amusement, let’s plunge directly to the bottom.
I could ridicule the Liberty Mutual campaign for the reasons others have cited (and I will!). But I’m more curious about how an agency like Goodby Silverstein—long known for smart, award-winning work—could ever have churned out such dribble.
The obvious explanation is that Liberty Mutual is a terrible client.
There’s a saying in the biz that “clients get the advertising they deserve.” Bolstering this theory is the fact that the pre-Goodby advertising for Liberty Mutual (from agency Havas) was equally detestable.
However, this hardly excuses Goodby. What they’ve done for Liberty Mutual looks like a total surrender to somebody’s uncreative and amateurish instincts.
Whoever the culprit may be, this is a matter that demands attention from creative law enforcement. Continue reading…