Should Apple show Mac OS X Leopard in action in TV ads?

Apple Store Online“Apple has been doing a great job at advertising in clever ways, but when it comes time to actually show the benefits that come with using their products in these advertisements, they fall flat on their face. Most of us have more than a casual understanding of Apple’s products, and we at least know what they can and cannot do. With that said, not everyone has the luxury of that knowledge, and some people are as clueless as can be,” Brandon Watts writes for OSWeekly. “They know they can use the computers to get on the Internet, but that’s about where it ends for them.”

Watts writes, “Many pundits have repeatedly said that Apple could increase their market share dramatically if they would just show off the true products instead of just focusing on the associated glitz and glamor.”

“They have a huge opportunity with Leopard still being new to the market to highlight some of the specific features of the OS. Stacks, Spaces, Time Machine, Dashboard, the new Finder with Cover Flow, and even Spotlight would all provide great material for a collection of simple television ads. All they would have to do is show the features being used, throw in some overview narration, a simple soundtrack, and that’s about it. There’s your next campaign, Apple,” Watts writes.

“OS X is too good to not be promoted in the right way, and I know these demonstration ad ideas go against everything that Apple has been doing on television lately, but I think it’s about time for them to see the light of day,” Watts writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For years and years, we, and many others, have been advocating that Apple should just show the damn OS on TV. One would think that Mac OS X Tiger vs. Windows XP would have the most striking to the clueless masses (almost all of whom, of course, are on Windows, if they have a computer at all), but Leopard’s features, taken one at a time, could be explained well enough in 30-seconds to make an impact. Or so it seems to those of us who know what we’re looking at. After all of this time, we can only assume that Apple and their ad agency have conducted numerous survey’s and found that what seems to us to be the best course (show the OS) is, in fact, not an effective course of action.

Perhaps to clueless computer users, such ads would be meaningless. We’re not in the target cannot accurately assess, but we imagine the possibility that seeing Leopard’s Stacks, Spaces, and Time Machine in action might mean nothing to those who think the Internet is the Big Blue “e.” The question then is, how many Windows users are there who would understand what they’re seeing if they were shown Leopard in action in TV ads?

Showing Mac OS X Leopard in action in TV ads to those Windows users who have a bit more knowledge and who are clearly not enamored of Vista might have a positive impact for Apple. We base this on the reactions we get on planes, etc. when the random Dell-toting seatmates next to us are shown Mac OS X in action. How significant of an impact is the question. Is it worth the cost of a multi-ad national TV ad campaign? By now, we have to conclude that Apple’s research must say no, it’s not worth doing.


  1. I was typing in a forum with a guy.

    He didn’t know macs existed anymore.

    He says he hasn’t seen one in a decade, and didn’t see any for sale in a decade.

    He was not pulling my leg. I have been talking with him for 4 years now in this forum. He is a little bit of a simpleton.

    But it is depressing nonetheless.

  2. Interestingly, I think some of the “Get a Mac” ads do a very effective job of showcasing the features – symbolically.

    I think the latest “Time Machine” ad does a great job of conveying the feature without having to stare at an image of a computer screen and watch a little arrow scroll around with a voice over telling me what’s going on…

  3. The point of advertising is to take complex or abstract concepts and make them quickly and easily understandable for the viewer, while creating curiosity. The current crop of Mac ads does just this. Fanboys hate them, but the ads aren’t aimed at their demographic.

    These ideas of actually showing the OS are nothing more than the dreams of fanboys. And let’s not even hear talk of an infomercial.

  4. All I know is that I’ve had more PC using friends comment about the current ‘I’m a Mac’ ads than anything Apple has EVER done. And that’s what its all about, isn’t it? To remember the ad!!

  5. As usual Apple is too late. Microsoft had a head start by about a year and real computer enthusiasts have seen the magnificence that is Windows Vista, which can play games. Maybe you MAC sheep should check out an OS created with clear, consistent design rules, beautifully rendered transparency and gorgeous fonts. Why should us Windows enthusiasts have all the fun?

    Besides, consumers want choice. You only get 1 flavor of Leopard, and Microsoft wisely offers 7 versions of Vista. How cool is that? Cupertino locks you into 1 version of their expensive and proprietary platform. Think different, MAC lemmings. Windows is just like a MAC but cheaper.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  6. Warning to MDN:

    Any more negative comments about what I do and you’re done!

    For the rest of you, get your butts in line. I’m trying to decide on whether fully faded or partially faded Levis will be best for tomorrow’s show. Being the decider, I’ll decide. That’s it.

  7. Think iPhone Ad! In the same simple yet effective way, show how “This is OS X, this is your Mac on the internet, this is your Mac doing email with “Mail”, iChat, etc.”

    I think you could do a series of these ads that show the simplicity of the Mac’s OS and the simplicity of iLife and they’d “get it”

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