“When Apple released its ‘Genius’ ads during the Olympics late last month, some Mac fans were not impressed. But one firm that tracks brand perceptions thinks Apple had good reasons for the campaign,” Ian Sherr reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Those familiar with other Apple ads were surprised by the more conventional ‘we’re here to help’ approach. A particularly harsh reaction came from Ken Segall, whose LinkedIn profile says he worked for an ad firm on Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign. ‘These ads are causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so,’ he said in a recent blog post,” Sherr reports. “So what was Apple thinking? YouGov’s BrandIndex, a daily tracking and survey service, thinks the answer might lie in shifting demographics.”

Sherr reports, “The service noticed that beginning in May of last year, the popularity of Apple’s brand began to grow among those 35 years old and up. By October, BrandIndex said Apple’s popularity among that demographic had grown to its highest level in at least four years. From early 2008 through mid-July 2011, by contrast, Apple scored higher with the 18-34 age group, the firm said. The increased popularity among older consumers could have influenced Apple’s decision to put out the ‘Genius’ ads, BrandIndex said. ‘It appears that the 35+ demographic, which includes Boomers 50 and over, may need more product hand-holding than the younger group–hence the Genius,’ BrandIndex said, adding that Apple’s decision to run the ads during prime-time Olympics coverage, where the audience is easily over 35 years old, made sense as well.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote when these ads debuted:

Obviously these ads are not targeted at the typical MacDailyNews reader and therefore might, upon first viewing, seem simplistic or even stupid. These ads are not at all stupid, they’re simply talking to people who speak a much more basic tech language than we do. When it comes to these ads, we are all paleontologists being forced to watch Dinosaur Train.

MacDailyNews readers, you are hereby absolved from watching these ads. They are not for your consumption. Pay no attention to these ads whatsoever while you share them repeatedly with your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and anyone else you know who might be in the market for their first real personal computer.

Every Mac user, especially the longtime Mac users who’ve been to the edge and back, should welcome new Mac users whether they know exactly what they’ve just purchased or have much yet to learn.

To take a line from a very early Mac TV ad (second ad below), “The real genius of Macintosh is that you don’t have to be a genius to use it.”

The ad title “Basically” says it all. These ads are appealing to a very basic target audience – the broadest possible target audience – and therefore represent a rather significant milestone:

Apple has finally returned to marketing the computer for the rest of us to the rest of us.

Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal, to take back the computer business from Microsoft, is being realized. These ads are a part of that effort. Apple’s Mac has regained its strength to the point where it can fight for the wide personal computer market again. Microsoft, if they were cognizant, should be shaking in their boots. It’s 1984 all over again and, for the Mac at least, that is a very, very good thing.

Related articles:
Apple’s ‘Mac Genius’ ads disappear from Olympic TV broadcasts – as planned – August 7, 2012
Apple’s new Mac Genius ads preach to new customers, not the choir – August 1, 2012
Ken Segall: Apple’s new Mac ads are causing a widespread gagging response – July 31, 2012
Apple debuts three new Mac ads: ‘Basically,’ ‘Labor Day,’ and ‘Mayday’ (with video) – July 29, 2012