Segall: Apple marketing has lost its sense of humor; copying Apple doesn’t make Samsung an innovator

Author Ken Segall, a former Apple employee, examines how Samsung has stolen Apple’s thunder in the smartphone market and questions whether the Samsung is truly innovating as a company.

He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

It’s fascinating to me that Samsung gets credit as a innovator now, because they’re using [Google’s] Android and they;re basically imitating what Apple did… adding some features on top of Android. Is that really innovation? – Ken Segall

As for Microsoft’s marketing, for as long as can be rememebred, “they’re not doing themselves any favors,” Segall says.

Direct link to video here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote 9 days ago:

Steve Jobs held a three-hour meeting every Wednesday afternoon with his top agency, marketing and communications people to approve each new commercial, print ad, web ad, and billboard. Does Tim Cook? If he does, does he have anything close to Jobs’ sensibilities in this area? Judging from Apple’s marketing since Steve left the building, he does not. Therefore, Cook needs to find a marketing guru to take Steve’s place, conduct these Wednesday meetings, and hold his marketing peoples’ feet to the fire until he/she is extremely satisfied.

25 Comments

    1. Agreed. I like the MDN take. It’s spot on. The marketing has been noticeably spotty since Mr. Jobs left us, in fact it’s been blunderful, and Tim Cook obviously is not going to have the same pizzazz in that area. That does not mean the game is over, it just means they need to find a way, a person, to own this and make it sing (again).

      1. Yup. Marketing has been worse than spotty, it’s been awful. Advertising really matters. Especially when competition is beating your door down. When your competition runs ads that make fun of you. Apple used to have great commercials. But not for a long, long time.

  1. Advice to MDN: Stop the Tim Cook hate. EVERYONE knows that Cook is not Steve Jobs. Steve is not coming back. Get over it, already. Steve Jobs said himself that his advice to the execs at Apple was to “not spend time wondering how I would do it.” Apple is (perhaps) following that advice and you hammer them for it.

    Your Tim Cook hate makes you look (read) pathetic.

      1. Considering that”MDN” is some guy in his mothers basement, just what experience do they have running a business the size of APPLE?

        Perhaps they could just STFU and stop with the infantile takes already.

    1. Hey GeeOne (if that is your REAL name),

      If you want to criticize why don’t you criticize on content. What did MDN’s take say that is Tim Cook hate? They ask a question. Is Tim taking marketing seriously enough? Does he have expertise in this area? Then they note, as has *everyone* that Apple ads have taken a real drop in /Je ne sais quoi/, and have really come back to earth. Then they advocate for some attention to be paid there.

      All of that is right on.

      By the way, Tim Cook has yet to prove himself. What’s happened since he came? They’ve made some hardware upgrades that were in the system for years and made some mistakes, like the iMac Christmas fiasco.

      It’s not hate to suggest that the jury is still out on how well Tim is running such a secretive company. We’ll know how he’s doing when they make some decisions that weren’t in the pipeline when Steve was alive. In the meantime, thoughtful questions and fact-based suggesions (marketing is not up to par — they should take a look there and change some things) are entirely fair and appropriate.

      This isn’t a compliment circle. It’s business.

      1. “Since he came”

        Considering he has been Steve’s right hand man for YEARS and ran the company during Steve’s leave of absence, considering Steve HIMSLF picked the guy as his successor, I’m gonna guess Steve knew WTF he was talking about, unlike you. Mr. What has he done?

        He only re-designed the supply chain and manufacturing to bring Apple back from the brink of insolvency. What do you want an adjective filled keynote and one more thing? Should he wear mock turtlenecks too?

    2. IMHO, MDN went off the rails expressing the opinion that Tim needs to hold the same meetings on the same day in the same timeframe with the same people as Steve did. MDN believes Apple can do better in the marketing space than they presently are. Probably we all can agree that we would like to see more advertising from Apple to counter the perception Samsung is building. I personally don’t care whether it’s humorous or not. Think Different wasn’t a humorous campaign. Neither was The Power To Be Your Best, or any number of prior campaigns. Mac vs PC had humorous elements. I’m not sure I’d characterize any of the iMac and iPod campaigns as humorous. They had nice life to them.

      I’d just like to see Apple advertising all the products they make and sell. Most notably, restart advertising on Macs. It seems out of place to have a single ad campaign for both iPad and iPad mini, but not have any or a single campaign for iMac and Mac mini. My campaign idea would be an awesomely energetic commercial about iMac and Mac mini that towards the end pulls back to reveal that we’ve been watching the commercial playback inside FCPX on a new Mac Pro!

  2. It may not revive whatever is sagging with JCPenney, but I happen to like their new ads quite a bit. Of course, there ain’t an actual JCPenney store anywhere within shouting distance from me….

    1. I think the phrase “Because shut up!” applies in this situation.

      Seriously, though. Apple has its head of marketing, who has been their head of marketing for HOW long now, with HOW many years of experience in the field? Why isn’t this article about his failures, rather than focusing in on Cook?

  3. “…Cook needs to find a marketing guru to take Steve’s place, conduct these Wednesday meetings, and hold his marketing peoples’ feet to the fire…”

    Wouldn’t this be a great retirement job for Lee Clow?

  4. MSoft has made itself a wonderful target of opportunity for mocking – so why isn’t Apple resurrecting the wonderful I’m a Mac ads, or something similar? So much material available…

  5. Re: Samsung “innovation”

    TRUE Innovation is creating and releasing the Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad in the first place, to be copied in endless iterations by the “fake” innovators.

    Samsung fears doing anything truly innovative, because that’s too risky. REAL innovation requires courage. Let’s say Samsung and Apple are both working on some type of “wristwatch” device. Perhaps Samsung already has something being prototyped right now, but they probably won’t release it. Why? Because they need to see Apple’s product first. If Samsung went first, Apple will invariably release a far better-designed (and instantly more popular) product. Then, Samsung will be “compelled” to copy it (sorry… “innovate”), and everyone will see the results of “before and after iWatch,” just like “before and after iPhone.”

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