Ken Segall: Apple’s new Mac ads are causing a widespread gagging response

“Repeat after me: ‘The sky is not falling. The sky is not falling,'” Ken Segall blogs for Ken Segall’s Observatory. “I know it’s hard to say after viewing the new batch of Mac ads that debuted on the Olympics. I’m still in a bit of shock myself.”

“Sure, Apple has had a low point or two in its advertising past — but its low points are usually higher than most advertisers’ high points,” Segall writes. “This is different. These ads are causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so. I honestly can’t remember a single Apple campaign that’s been received so poorly.”

Segall writes, “This thing is so upsetting, it has me talking to myself: ‘Ken, you’re missing the obvious. Clearly these ads are targeted at first-timers, not for you.’ That’s a seemingly logical defense. It’s also a horrible one. How many great campaigns have you seen that appeal to one target group, but turn off everyone else? There’s no excuse for a campaign like that. Apple’s momentum is fueled by the enthusiasm of its core customers. The last thing it wants is to win new customers at the cost of looking ridiculous to its enthusiastic supporters.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple debuts three new Mac ads: ‘Basically,’ ‘Labor Day,’ and ‘Mayday’ (with video) – July 29, 2012


    1. That’s what I thought. Two things.
      1. Dell was cooking pretty good with the Dell guy. I still don’t know why they dumped him.
      2. I’m not sure that if Steve were still alive that people would be praising the ads. There is such an watch for “Apple’s First Fail That Will Signal That Without Jobs The Company Is Doomed” that I’m a little suspect of negative punditry right now.

    2. Folks are writing about an Apple ad campaign and posting the videos this causing more widespread views of said Apple ad campaign.

      Check and mate 🙂

  1. I don’t know that I would take it to the point of “gagging response,” but I do know that I watched the first, then a part of the second, and thought they were horrible. Most Apple ads in the past were attention grabbing. This had no appeal to me. It’s just bland like any other ad from a generic, vanilla flavor tech company. Lacks the historic Apple edginess.

  2. You know what these are not bad at all. I think the author of this story is reaching here. They are fun and make comparisons to the Apple differce.

    Viva la difference

    1. I thought they were great. “Basically” addresses the Android / Windows Mac like products and devices. I also feel bad for those that get suckered into the BS that it is almost the same thing.

      The “Labor Day” one is just real funny. In the end, focus on the event and Apple’s products and devices will just work and you can count on them.

      It has been a long time now. I miss the “I am a Mac and I am a PC” ads. How about an “I am iOS and I am Android”. Time to draw new Google Android blood. Or is it oil? Isn’t Android a knockoff of the real thing? Very fitting name. It’s a poor copy of the real deal.

      1. Yeah I thought the “Basically” one isn’t bad.
        Laber day one is ok.
        the 3rd what Muddygun said above “Thank you picking that up. A genius never helps with iMovie” is true. But the ad isn’t bad imo.

        I agree, Apple Bring on the “Hi i’m iOS and I’m android” ads!

        iOS: the iPhone does X
        Android: So does android!
        iOS: Didn’t the Judge rule that you violated copyright laws and copied iOS?
        Android: moving on….

    2. I don’t think Ken is reaching at all. Considering he use to work with Steve on Apple advertising, and is considered an advertising guru. He is also credited with naming the iMac – iMac. This isn’t some dufus with a blog.

      I thought they were terrible the moment I saw them, My opinion is confirmed by someone who knows more than me about advertising.

      I can just hear Steve destroying these ‘bozo’ ads in my head, this crap wouldn’t fly on his watch. It isn’t GREAT, therefore isn’t worth doing. These ads suck. They are annoying, there is nothing genuine about them. LAME..

  3. Ah, I love the Apple elitists (I’ll admit, I’m still a recovering one, although it has been a while since I have gotten over it).

    Yes, the ads are aimed at first timers – that is exactly what Apple needs – more Mac users (and that is good for us long time diehard users as well).

    It’s funny, but I often find the same people that complain about Apple making Mac ads that are targeted at a larger, general audience are also the same people that complain that Apple is abandoning the Mac…

    The days of keeping the Mac (and Apple in general) all to ourselves with a smug satisfaction that we know something everyone else doesn’t is over.

    And that’s a very good thing.

    1. In going with the targeting analogy…

      You’re missing the target of the objection that people have to the ads.

      The ads are obnoxious, no matter who they are targeted at.

      If they reach their intended target, the intended target is likely offended, if he can get past how obnoxious the ads are to think about what they’re trying to say.

      If they reach people they aren’t intended for, they do nothing except (in keeping with the analogy) COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

      This is just another in a string of pearls showing the lack of Steve is hurting the new Apple.

      1. I agree; this is the most egregious act that Apple has ever performed and I am absolutely sick to my stomach. I am truly ashamed to admit that I have ever owned one of their products, and now will have to switch to Windows. How could they have done this shameful and embarrassing act against us, the very essence of all that is Apple and the only reason they have to exist? Damn that incompetent excuse for a leader Tim Cook.

        There now, how was that little expansion on your pathetic diatribe you sniveling asshat?

      2. What do you find so obnoxious about these ads? I’ve actually heard people talking about them in the office (in a POSITIVE way). They seemed to think they were funny. Apparently the unwashed masses are enjoying them.

      3. “OBNOXIOUS”


        Obnoxious, however, perfectly describes the entitled and pretentious air of nearly everyone bitching about these commercials. It’s pathetic.

  4. They look great to me.

    Not only extolling the virtues of the software one gets on a mac but also that there is always somebody friendly to talk to regarding problems.

    These ads are about giving confidence to regular folks, grannies uncles and what not that switching is not a scary thing.

    1. I think they are pretty good. It cracks me up that the “genius” guy is always wearing his “uniform” (complete with ID tag), even when he’s sleeping. Like he’s a superhero… 🙂

  5. It’s like being punched in the face with a baseball bat. Yes, we know Apple makes ‘easy to use’ products and that Apple Geniuses are there to help hapless customers but the ads take this to extremes and overemphasizes the geek factor. There’s barely any humor in it.

    I like the old Apple ads that delivered their message with subtlety and more importantly had taste written all over them. This batch lacks taste and isn’t even remotely funny.

  6. But… the “enthusiastic core supporters” are going to buy Apple products regardless of the advertising.

    Seriously, this line of reasoning makes no sense. Why should Apple’s marketing department give two sh*ts about the opinion of people like me who are completely devoted to the Mac platform? Is anyone out there seriously considering switching to Windows or Linux because of these ads?

    For the record: I don’t like the ads. They remind me too much of the “Dell Dude” ads. But I also don’t care. I’m buying a Mac mini anyway. If these ads don’t achieve their intended purpose, presumably Apple will move on to something else.


    1. “Why should Apple’s marketing department give two sh*ts about the opinion of people like me who are completely devoted to the Mac platform? Is anyone out there seriously considering switching to Windows or Linux because of these ads?”
      ^ EXACTLY.

      I am happy that Apple’s marketing department knows it should not direct ads at people who already use Macs.

      I am deaf to whining dweebs.

  7. The new ads are great. My mom, who knows nothing about computers, called and asked if I saw the super funny new Apple commercial. She has never done that in her life and that is the audience these commercials are targeting.

    1. Bullshit. Anyone who thinks these ads have plumbed some new depth of bad clearly doesn’t watch TV, and/or has their g
      Head so far up their ass they can brush their teeth and wash their hair at the same time.

  8. Get rid of this garbage and bring back the Mac vs. PC ads. With the Windows 8 disaster looming, now’s the perfect time to go back on offense and hit ’em hard.

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