Apple’s new Mac Genius ads preach to new customers, not the choir

“‘Viewers give Apple’s ‘Genius’ Olympic Ads A ‘D’ for Dumb,’ raves Forbes! ‘Without Steve Jobs, the company unfortunately lacks flavor and style,’ concludes Dave Smith in the International Business Times! ‘These ads are causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so,’ says Ken Segall, an adman who you may remember from such previous campaigns as ‘Think Different’ and the iMac,” Philip Michaels writes for Macworld.

“But you know what? If Apple manages to reach the people it’s targeting with these ads, all of these critiques amount to a little more than hot air,” Michaels writes. “Apple isn’t making these ads to get an approving nod from Forbes or a pat on the back from Ken Segall or even to make me feel good about myself as a Mac user. It’s trying to sell stuff. Specifically, it’s trying to sell stuff to people who feel flummoxed by computers, who think that sitting down in front of a computer screen and creating something worthwhile is as unimaginable as building a rocket ship. Other PC makers leave you high and dry, Apple is telling these folks, but we’ll still be there to help you out.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
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


  1. I’m going to say this one more time so everybody pay attention and then we can move on. “Apple is a mobile device company.” – Steve Jobs.

    Apple doesn’t care about its core, faithful real computer customers. If we don’t convert to the minimalist world of iOS, then we have but one choice – to see if MSoft has figured out anything since we last checked. I doubt it. but it’s all that is left for us.

    Apple wants billions from the mass market of phones, pads, and pods. That’s it. That’s what these ads say and that’s what Apple intended them to say.

    I posted this very late in the chain on a similar story here yesterday but thought it was worth repeating as the discussion here starts anew.

    1. If what you say is true, these please explain why the hell are we talking about new Mac ads? You know, the computers that you say they don’t care about selling?

      “Apple wants billions from the mass market of phones, pads, and pods. That’s it. That’s what these ads say and that’s what Apple intended them to say.”

      WTF? What ads did you watch?

  2. I like the ad’s. I think this guy pulls it off.
    I also remember all the criticisms the “I’m a Mac” ad’s received.

    Apple Geniuses are one of the best things Apple has going for them, Apple should publicize them to the “rest of us” general public.

    1. Yup. No end of fools whining about the Mac character being “pretentious” and “snobbish” and “condescending”, as if they understood what any of those words actually meant.

    2. The ads are crap.

      Show going to a Genius at an Apple store.
      Show using the programs.

      What they showed was, You the Customer are a Moron, You do not plan ahead, You are not prepared, You are an Idiot.

      Right… Insult your prospective Shopper.

    1. Trondude

      Who are these ads targetting?
      – NonMac users.

      Do non-mac users know that a computer can be easy and pleasant to use?
      – No.

      The “Genius” in these ads is showing these onscreen, recent-Apple-converts (and the target viewing audience of Pre-Switchers) that using a Mac is fast and easy.

      Yay Apple.
      Apple wins.

    2. Well, until we all get the computer fount on the Enterprise . . .
      Then again, there were whole episodes where the crew couldn’t figure out the answer till the end of the hour-long episode because the they could’t think of the right question to ask the computer.
      t ||_||

  3. These are about as frothy as the Zooey Deschanel Siri spot. I don’t care for them, and I don’t think Jobs would have either. I know they are targeted for the shallow end of the consumer pool, and perhaps they work there, but I believe we can do this using the edgy elegance that got us here.

    Just one more reminder Jobs is gone.

  4. This are actually slightly sarcastically humorous and will appeal to a fairly broad segment of the non-Mac population. They gently poke fun at ordinary folks’ trepidation at doing anything on their home computers outside of the usual email-web-itunes trifecta. In addition, they poke a bit of fun at the Apple geniuses. Fundamentally, though, they tell people that if they get a Mac, they’ll be able to do all the stuff that other people seem to be doing effortlessly on their computers that they can’t seem to figure out how to do, and if they still can’t, they can always talk to those Geniuses, as they clearly know everything and will always help.

    These ads will work better than most of them before, as they don’t pit Mac vs. PC (alienating all those people who dislike confrontation), but simply encourage people to jump on the Mac bandwagon, knowing there’ll always be the Genius to help.

  5. That’s a lame excuse- “maybe they’ll be effective.” They suck, they hurt the Apple brand, which is about quality and style. When you “Think different” you don’t put together a LCD- addressed, dumbed-down, annoying ad. Apple’s DNA is to make the best products, not sell the most. It should also make the best commercials. Who the Hell is going to be inspired by these dorky annoyances? Who’s going to remember them, or want to? Yes, it signals the absense of Steve Jobs from Apple. He had so much more class- and vision. Key word- Vision. Today- and Tomorrow.

  6. I’m not the target audience for the ads, but I think the messaging is pretty solid:
    * You can do cool stuff with Macs that would be really challenging in Windows.
    * Apple cares about you: “We’re here to help you.” I know people do have horror stories, but all in all Apple has been very helpful when I’ve had problems.
    * Implicit nod to Apple stores and how cool it is to be able to walk in and get help whenever you need it… assuming a genius doesn’t reside next door.

    After returning to Apple after a few years when I was stuck on Dells running Windows, I can tell you those are three pretty important points to make. It was like a cool breeze on a hot day when I dumped my Dell and got a MacBook.

    1. Yes, the ads communicate an important message, which you’ve summed up very nicely. Apple has already gotten all the elitist a**holes they’re going to get–now they are reaching beyond them (you?) to people who feel lost doing anything “fancy” on their Dells or HPs. Good move!

  7. It doesn’t matter if you like them or not, if Ken Segall likes them or not, or if your mother likes them or not. You’re talking about them. They are getting lots of press. And, it’s disingenuous to ask whether any ad is dumb.

  8. I’m so sick of these elitist comments. It’s an ad people, not a movie, not a weekly series, not mandatory viewing and certainly NOT the end of the Apple World. Everyone of you that have predicted doom and gloom for Apple over these ads, get a life and use the fast forward button on the remote. For those of you who had a more objective realistic comment, thank you for demonstrating that Apple users are not all elitist nutcases. : D

    1. Agreed. As I said in the other thread, 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.

      Get over it people – Apple has gone mass market. As a person who at one point was afraid that they might not even surprise, and as a shareholder, I am very happy to see it happening.

      Everyone who has an elitist need to feel “different” or “better”, just remember that Windows still has a HUGE current marketshare advantage, so you’re still different and cool… Don’t sweat it.

  9. I watched all the ads and while Labor Day & Mayday left me scratching my head I thought Basically was on target. With Intels “Get your head out of your ____ PC makers and copy Apple” Ultrabook campaign & Samdungs never ending copying machine running I think this works. I liked it and thought it was on target. Now they need one about cell phones.

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