“America’s reigning monarch of marketing is of course Steve Jobs… He is famous for his obsessions, such as keeping new products under wraps until he can roll them out at glitzy, tightly scripted, massively observed events. In April, however, a junior Apple engineer left a prototype of the then-unreleased iPhone 4 in a Redwood City (Calif.) bar. Gizmodo, a popular tech blog, got its hands on the device and broke the news about its impressive new features—its uncanny thinness, its high-res display, its forward-facing camera designed to let users video chat with their friends,” Leonard writes. “Nothing was left for Jobs to reveal.”
MacDailyNews Take: Actually, Jobs revealed plenty of new information, but we’ll play along with Leonard’s conceit…
Leonard continues, “So how is it that when he unveiled the phone on June 7 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the event still had the aura of magic? Jobs tossed off the perfect quip about the Gizmodo incident—”Stop me if you’ve seen this before”— then demonstrated what he called ‘the most precise, beautiful thing we’ve ever designed.’ Wi-Fi went down during his presentation—and it didn’t matter. Like all great salesmen, Jobs knows that controlling the product is a lot less important than controlling our desire.”
“Jobs brought the Hollywood-style rollout to the tech industry in 1984 when he set out to make the launch of the first Mac a pop cultural milestone not unlike the first Star Wars movie, which he studied closely. He commissioned the most famous Super Bowl commercial in history, the futuristic ‘1984’ spot directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) in which a freedom-loving woman hurled a hammer through a giant computer screen from which a totalitarian figure was lecturing a room full of worker drones,” Leonard writes. “Jobs personally demonstrated that first Mac in an auditorium full of cheering fans. In his double-breasted blue blazer and green bow tie (since replaced by a black mock turtleneck), he looked like a character from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
Steve Jobs demos first Apple Macintosh in January, 1984:
Direct link to video via YouTube here.
Leonard writes, “With the media landscape so fragmented, stopping the world in its tracks isn’t easy anymore. ‘We sometimes think that in a connected, interactive world, salesmanship is no longer effective,’ adds Kelly O’Keefe, executive director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, an advertising studies program. ‘But it’s not true. We are still attracted to it. We are looking for it. We need something to believe in. People believe in Apple. They believe in Jobs.'”
Full article – recommended – here.