Why Apple had to evolve its marketing approach

“Would apple be able to create a ‘1984’ in 2012? Maybe, but it doesn’t need to,” Brian Steinberg writes for AdAge. “uper Bowl ads on the order of its famous George Orwell-inspired classic are no longer necessary for the company. Apple doesn’t need to build awareness, and therefore no longer has to thumb its nose at rival tech giants and other establishment corporations.”

“But that may actually be a hindrance when it comes to Apple’s current advertising. The company that made a name for itself with smart, convention-challenging ads that cast it in the role of underdog is now on top as the most valuable U.S. company and maker of that high-selling smartphone,” Steinberg writes. ” Its challenge is to create commercials that target a broader audience and tout specific features of its key products, the iPhone and iPad, perhaps a departure from the trademark advertising that has always been its emotional raison d’etre.”

Steinberg writes, “Yet some of that advertising has left Apple aficionados cold. During the Olympics, the company unfurled several new spots featuring a young man with a cracking voice — who sounds an awful lot like Steven, the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” character from spots in the early 2000s. Backlash was palpable… Apple’s ads featuring celebrities such as Martin Scorsese, Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson using iPhone Siri technology as a sort of personal assistant have prompted bloggers to ask if the company were moving in a new direction… [However] Advertising Benchmark Index, a company that studies the effectiveness of specific ads, found the spots worked and that most respondents liked them.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “theloniousMac” for the heads up.]

23 Comments

  1. The day Apple has to succumb to the masses ideology like what Microsoft, Dell and other big corporation did , would be the end of Apple.
    Create good product and caring for your customers and workers if an age old mantra.
    Don’t let the money money blind you Tim Cook !!

    1. I’m not sure that you didn’t miss the point. Apple like any other public company strives to build market share. That may entail advertising that speaks to the “great unwashed” that have been raised on a steady diet of Anti-Apple brainwashing. At the time 1984 came out Apple was facing personal computer encroachment from the 800 lb. Gorilla, IBM. The ad cleverly positioned Apple as the spunky underdog. Things were even worse when Steve came back to Apple. The company needed ads that stopped the flight of customers. The beautiful Think Different ads were meant as a rallying cry for the faithful core of creatives still using Macs. The PC war is over. The faithful have been proven right in sticking with Apple. There is a new mission. Expand reach. Of course Apple should continue to “Create good product and caring…for customers”, but that has nothing to do with the way those products are advertised who they are targeted to. Most of us that own and enjoy Apple products know that once you go Apple you rarely leave the fold. Satisfaction is immense. The chore of advertising is to bring in NEW Apple customers, and celebrity testimonials along with feature/benefit spots are well proven methods. I will expect to see less ego stroking type ads from Apple, and agree with the author that those messages are no longer a priority or even productive for Apples ad investment.

      1. Impressive well laid out argument except that it is based on the first statement “Apple like any other public company strives to build market share.” That has not seemed to ever be true for Apple. They strive to create beautiful clever product that will delight their customers and won’t lower their standards to gain market share.

        Tim Cook may be changing that and now striving to be Michael Dell and go for market share but I strongly hope not. I hope that Tim keeps his eye on the target of producing ‘insanely great’ products that delight me and others and run a PROFITABLE business. Market share is nothing if you look at Nokia and others.

    2. Reread yours and Sparks and I have to agree. Apple made products for one man and the rest of us got to enjoy them. I do not believe market share is a primary goal when you sell a premium product. It’s earnings. I made a comparison between Apple and dell about 2 years ago or so. At the time, dell had 50 Billion in revenue but only 1 Billion in earnings. That is a tremendous effort for not alot of money. Apple had 45 Billion in revenue and 15 Billion in earnings! 50 gets you 1 or 3 gets you 1.
      That is why Apple is so successful. Market share is a just a byproduct.

  2. I am so happy Apple does not listen to ANYONE on this forum… Apple’s business is run by proffessionals not these forum armchair and Monday morning quarterbacks …. Hey but at least they have an audience for their opinions… Other geeks like them..,

    1. Oh so true! There are SO many opinions from SO many amateurs about how Apple should do things.

      How’s this any different than the advice from all the anal-ists that we despise?

      1. “How’s this any different than the advice from all the anal-ists that we despise?”

        Well, in my case it is because I am an advertising professional. 30 years. 20+ with my own agency. I have clients and everything. In my defense, what wrote wasn’t advice for Apple, merely what I expect to see. And that is primarily due to the fact that Steve Jobs is no longer shaping the message.

    2. Far, far more important is Apple not listening to the analysts often featured here. Grobart from Businessweek, for example, is currently on the top of my moron analysts list.

  3. Exactly the Dell Guy was a perfect fit for Dell. He looked like a slacker stoner which fit in with the product being offered.

    I always wanted to get high and forget about trying to get anything done when I used a dell. 🙂

  4. “1984” was almost 30 years ago. I understand it was a groundbreaking ad – widely considered the best commercial ever – but the fact that anyone continues to equate the Apple of 30 years ago to the Apple of now simply shows they don’t get it. They don’t get Apple, they don’t get the market, and they don’t get advertising.

  5. “Its challenge is to create commercials that target a broader audience and tout specific features of its key products, the iPhone and iPad. Yet . . .”
    And then Steinberg goes on to complain about – Mac advertising???

    Steinberg may have some valid points to make, but he doesn’t do it very well. (neither do I, but I’m not being paid to write this)

    And BTW – The Apple Genius guy sounds NOTHING like the you’re getting a Dell guy – dude!

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  8. The Mac has something like a 12% share in the US market and well less than 10% worldwide. I don’t think Apple HAS to assume the mantle of anything it doesn’t want to.

    They are also seeing the iOS be ripped off by Google/Fandroid the way Microsoft ripped off the Mac OS. Wonder if Tim Cook will settle for petty cash and a cross licensing agreement like soda guy back in the day?

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