Apple’s biggest blunder in years? The unconscionable lack of Mac advertising

“You readers are pretty well connected and you don’t need a TV campaign to know that Tiger exists. In fact, any Mac user who spends a little time pouring over the news pages on the Internet ought to be fairly well informed on the subject. The fact that even Windows-oriented publications cover Tiger doesn’t hurt,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Mac Night Owl.

“But there are far too many out there who never read the technology pages, watch technology segments on TV or read computer magazines,” Steinberg writes. “Most of them own PCs running Windows. How are they going to know that Apple has a brand new operating system? How will they know that it offers features that are still pipedreams on the Windows platform, and won’t appear until Longhorn is released, and maybe not even then?”

“Will they discover the Mac or Mac OS X simply by watching dancing stick figures dancing and prancing while listening to iPods? I don’t think so. But as I said, I don’t know all that much about marketing,” Steinberg writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple blows their current “Windows” of opportunity by not educating the general public about Mac OS X Tiger’s capabilities, they have only themselves to blame for not grabbing new users. Apple’s continued silence on TV, in print, and elsewhere about their Mac products could rival some of the company’s biggest blunders. We have absolutely no idea why Apple is not advertising the Mac. It’s simply unconscionable and Apple shareholders should be appalled and demanding answers.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple should hold ‘The $1,000,000 Apple Macintosh Ad Contest’ – May 04, 2005
Forrester analysts: Apple should advertise Mac OS X Tiger on television and in movie theaters – April 29, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime movies of Mac OS X Tiger features in action – April 13, 2005
Why doesn’t Apple advertise Mac OS X on TV? – April 12, 2005
Mac fans line up for new operating system as passberby asks ‘what is a tiger?’ – April 29, 2005


  1. Just a guess, but I think Apple may be holding off until it can deliver something like iTunes for HD movie downloads that will only work for Macintoshes -something other than just an OS to drive computer sales.

    Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

  2. Maybe they think that their commercials have not been effective.

    I suggest that they get rid of their spokesperson for the G5 commercials. (The Fly Guy)

    How about a commercial featuring positive quotes about the mac mini and Tiger from prominent editorials like they do when showing previews of movies. They could incorporate cool features of their products.

  3. This is the golden opportunity Apple needed to promote their new OS and hardware!
    Apple should be advertising, drilling into people minds that the Mac is a better solution to their computing needs. Just word of mouth can only take you so far! An advertising campaign even with something as anoying as the “Dell dude”, or maybe something else entirely, but something that’s catchy and in as many media outlets as posible. Apple you have a YEAR maybe more or advantage before Micro$oft releases Foghorn, use this time wisely!!!

  4. Who knows, rumors say that a new advertising campaign is coming. Now that they have the Mac mini (and the high price myth has been shattered for good) there is no excuse for not advertising Macs and OS X heavily. Let’s hope Apple gets moving on this by the summer.

  5. We were saying the same before the G5, and then before the new imac, mini, and tiger. Maybe if we shut up Steve will open his purse and advertise a bit, while he claims it was his bright idea.

  6. Maybe Steve thinks that the Apple retail stores, the iPod phenom, and word-of-mouth advertising are enough.

    MaWo: “woman”. As in, ‘Whoa, man. Is Apple ever going to make people aware of the benefits of using a Mac over everything else or not??? People are often like little children; they need to have things explained to them.’

  7. Speaking as someone in the biz, I’m guessing there may be a couple of reasons for Apple’s lack of advertising: they may still be ramping up production of the Mini (creating demand and then not being able to supply product would be a disaster). And they may be waiting for us Tiger early adopters to report the bugs in the new OS before they advertise it to Mom and Dad.

    That being said, there’s absolutely no excuse to not advertise this stuff. The products are brilliant, and they certainly have the cash to do it.

  8. Be careful what you wish for. It may may be that this is a ‘brilliant’ strategy. To have consumers purchase products or adopt a pltform from word of mouth is more stable than through advertising. If I tell a friend about OS X and convince that person it is a good choice – that is much stronger than a Commercial doing the same thing. My friend is more likely to stick with it if the refernce came from word of mouth over a tv spot.
    Let it be. I do not want this thing to turn into a Windows fiasco – however I would like more support (that happens when market share increases).

  9. cedreca: “Just word of mouth can only take you so far!”

    Actually, don’t ever underestimate the potential of word-of-mouth advertising. It is almost always MORE effective than any paid-for or concocted advertising campaign because it’s guaranteed to hit the talking points (pun intended) that speak to people most effectively. There’s little that can compete with the recommendation of someone a person respects, or the leading-by-example of seeing someone you like using a product, or even the general buzz that occurs when people gather in certain social situations and notice a trend among acquaintances or friends once-removed.

    I think that once Apple has its ducks even more in a row than they are right now — Mac mini shipping full-bore, Tiger at maybe 10.4.2, iPod-style cell phone available — you will see a push of some kind in the media for OS X as well as the mini. But I wouldn’t expect it to be what we anticipate.

  10. Word of mouth advertising is some of the best, but in this case I think taht more is needed. Word of mouth for ipods was huge cause people carried them around with them and people would ask “whoa what’s that”

    with a mac, you arent carrying it around and you arent just going to randomly start talking to your friends about how awesome macs are out of nowhere.

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