Apple’s TV ads touting ‘Designed in California’ flop in TV viewer survey [UPDATED]

“Apple Inc.’s newest TV commercials, showing consumers enjoying its products while an actor reads the company’s corporate philosophy, are a flop compared with earlier ads from the maker of iPhones and iPads,” Peter Burrows reports for Businessweek.

“The company’s latest ad, which began airing June 10, has earned the lowest score of 26 Apple TV ads in the past year, according to Ace Metrix Inc., a consulting firm that analyzes the effectiveness of TV ads through surveys of at least 500 TV viewers,” Burrows reports. “The ad scored 489 on the company’s scoring system, below an industry average of 542 and far below past iconic Apple campaigns that often topped 700.”

Burrows reports, “The change in tack started earlier this year, with similar ads that highlighted the iPhone’s status as a popular camera and music player. These ads, which show contemplative montages of people using iPhones in their daily rounds, also fared poorly by Apple’s standards on Ace Metrix’s scale, with scores of 560 and 537, respectively.”

“Apple’s new ad, dubbed ‘Designed by Apple in California,’ scored a 528 on ‘Information,’ versus an hardware-industry average of 603,” Burrows reports. “A recent ad for Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 phone that showed features such as the ability to answer a call without touching the screen scored a 757 by that same measure.”

MacDailyNews Take: The reason why the Apple ads in question scored low on the “Information” metric is because they are not informational ads.

Shocking, we know.

Burrows reports, “Edward Boches, a professor of advertising at Boston University. said the final seconds of the ad may strike some viewers as inappropriately political. The words ‘Designed by Apple in California’ appear as the voice says, ‘This is our signature, and it means everything.’ ‘Is this a subtle way of saying we’re not a Korean company? That’s not the way a leader like Apple should talk,’ said Boches, who also described himself as a ‘huge fan’ of Apple.”

MacDailyNews Note: UPDATE: June 28, 2013 @ 2:05pm EDT: This report has been called into question due to the fact that is has since been revealed that Ace Metrix counts Samsung among it’s clients. Read more:

Businessweek says Apple’s TV Ads ‘flop’ based on survey from Ace Metrix – which counts Samsung as a client – June 28, 2013

Read more in the full article – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: It also doesn’t help that, in America, a California riddled with high costs, taxes, heavy traffic, chronic budgetary crises, a public education system crying for reform, a general pervasive dysfunction, etc., may also not be considered the booming success story it once was.

For those of us who have lived in California and since fled, the words “Designed by Apple in California” are invariably followed by the thought, “better you than me.”

Why exclude 49 other states when you can easily include them? Perhaps Apple should say “Designed by Apple in the USA” instead? Doing so would broaden the appeal to the whole country.


  1. Apple’s ads fail to resonate with most citizens because the message is irrelevant. I couldn’t care less where my Apple products are designed. I just want Apple to continue making the best products on the planet. Screw these ads, put the money into R&D and let the products speak for themselves.

      1. The quality and functionality of Apple’s products speak for Apple. These ads serve no purpose except for accentuating Apple’s gratuitous self aggrandizement. STFU, Apple, and get to work.

  2. Where has everyone else been?

    Apple, has always been a “California” company. The Ethos hasn’t changed. Sure there are problems in the state.

    The author of the article is an idiot, writing another hit piece, looking for something where there is none.

    Designed in California, has been Apple’s signature for as long as I can remember, and that’s a long time. If anyone thinks it’s a political statement, is surely ignorant.

    Calling out the commercial on an information scale, is like calling out 1984 by the same merits, a great commercial, no doubt, but neither were infomercials. Again it’s like saying a Baskin Robins 31 flavors commercial rates low on the pancake scale.

    Hit piece, to suggest Apple has lost it’s mojo. The problem is, just like the Iraq War run-up spin machine, you say anything, enough times, and it sticks. A lot of people want to #*%^ Apple, to get at that $100+ billion in cash. It’s exactly the same thing that happened to California under Davis, when it had $40 billion surplus just before the dot com bust.

    1. Apple’s ads are smug, divisive, and provincial. A Brit is Apple’s chief designer, and Apple personnel from across the nation and around the globe have contributed to Apple’s greatness. It’s not at all true that Apple’s success is solely attributed to the folks in California.

      1. The “Designed in California” blurb isn’t about Apple’s success or what factors led to it.

        It’s about where Apple products are “designed”… which happens to be solely in CA.

      2. I never said Apple was a California company because it was made up if Californians. It just is a California company as it was founded there in the Silicon Vallley. The principals for which it stands, hasn’t changed for that geographical region.

        They could have just as easily said “Designed in Silicon Valley” and for most of us it would have a positive meaning, but considering the rest of the world, and I am sure Apple thinks about this, California is better understood.

        By itself, California is recognized as a media mecca, has a positive global ethos, is in the top 10 GDP, and in general thought more highly than all of the USA. It’s like America’s version of Canada, but with drugs, crime and prisons.

      3. It doesn’t say designed in California by Californians or by US citizens. As far as I see it it’s intended to suggest that it’s proud of and holds to the character it developed in its earliest days – in the creative melting pot of garage tech California.
        I’m not a fanboy but Apple, for me, still makes the best kit, the most carefully thought-out, the best designed. It probably is worth celebrating that … and the place that it occurs.
        California may be in some economic difficulty now but it has been a vibrant place, is still, as I understand it from the UK, a net contributor to the US federal budget and will, I suspect, be successful in the future.

    2. I’m pretty sure the point of the ad is more about the Design and less about California. Everyone seems to be fixated on the latter, and hellbent on bashing it, much like writers like these are with Apple.

  3. Apple is attacked from left to right , alarming Samsung paid the media to get back to Apple (Bloomberg, WSJ, Reuter, etc) , Hedge Fund managers’re taking advantage of the twilight after Steve Jobs passed away to hammer AAPL for profit, Can anyone see it?. Can anyone STOP this insane going on?.

  4. Bloomberg plus others have written many negative articles about Apple and also calling foreign investors invest with Samsung, obviously Samsung wants to get back to Apple, and the Hedge Fund managers want to hammer Apple for quick bucks, read for yourselves guys.
    I think Bloomberg has connection with Samsung or being bought by Samsung which called American investors to invest in Korea. Read on for yourselves guys.

    I think Bloomberg has connection with Samsung or being bought by Samsung which called American investors to invest in Korea. Read on for yourselves guys.

    S.Korean shares extend gains on Samsung Elec, foreign buying.
    * Foreign investors buy following 14 straight sessions of selling

    * Samsung Elec shares jump after hitting a 9-1/2-mth low

    * Woori Finance units rally on privatisation expectations

    SEOUL, June 27 (Reuters) – Seoul shares extended gains and rose 2.6 percent on Thursday as foreign investors turned net buyers and as Samsung Electronics shares, the largest component on the main KOSPI, rallied after a prolonged correction..
    “The market is seeing a technical rebound on bargain hunting, but (upward moves) probably are not being established as a trend … the stance on emerging markets is still cautious,” said Lim Soo-gyoun, a market analyst at Samsung Securities.

    Foreign buying was modest at a net 12.8 billion Korean won ($11.09 million), but still poised to snap 14 straight sessions of selling.

    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index was up at 1,830.21 points as of 0142 GMT.


  5. Those who claim that California is a synonym for decaying economic and political mess clearly have an ax to grind.

    For the vast majority of average Americans, California still equals sunshine, Hollywood, glamour, as well as the innovative spirit of the Silicon Valley. Non-Californians are mostly oblivious to any fiscal or other troubles the state may be going through.

    The ads are effective, and most definitely don’t conform to standards that test well in polls.

    1. California actually is a synonym for decaying economic and political mess.

      No two ways about it. In the rest of the U.S. and many other places, excluding the low-information crowd, this is a clear fact that is widely known.

      Only a fool thinks of California as sun, Hollywood, and glamour. This isn’t 1955. Most Hollywood “stars” are known to be what they’ve always been: narcissistic, drug-addicted, STD-infected, damaged airheads that no sane person should ever look to for guidance other than as prime examples of exactly how not to live.

      1. “These ads serve no purpose except for accentuating Apple’s gratuitous self aggrandizement.”

        As much as I hate to admit it, worst Apple ad ever.

      2. That is actually totally false. Here in Australia as well as other places I have lived, such as England, Ireland, Spain and New Zealand, California has always been looked up to as at the forefront of innovation, social and environmental issues and has a very strong progressive “brand”, whilst the “US” generally has a much lower “brand” value, due to the Bushes and their wars. This is why I believe Apple flaunts “California” over the “US”, which is typically associated with arrogance due to international politics.

        I also had the opportunity to work and live in California for a few years, recently and I must say it is one of the most beautiful regions in the work, the people are very friendly, the food, wine etc. are top notch. After travelling most of the US, I found that California is by far in almost every measure the best place in the US and much closer to the “open” and multicultural mindset I am used to. Even in Australia and in Europe, we also have the same “rightwing nuts” that bash anything successful or progressive or “multicultural” in their respective countries, as the likes of you are doing on this thread. Luckily these people are always in the minority. California in my mind remains a beacon in the US and the majority of Americans I came across throughout my years in the US agree and look up to the state (and most dream of living there as well).

        I would move back in a hear beat if I could.

        as an Australian, I had the pleasure of working and living in California for a few years very recently.

  6. The copy is weak. Goes from “you” to “we” in places attempting to be conversational. Using the word ‘someone.’ Or, “We sign our work. You may rarely look at it.” Really? What are we talking about, the inside of a 1984 Macintosh? Wait, you mean the “Designed … in California” signature? I see that every time I unbox an Apple product. The emotional pull falls short.

  7. To be honest, these ads not quite as good as the everyday ads. They have less interesting scenes and less content, for one. I like the idea of this campaign, but I think this commercial could use a revamp.

  8. California, USA or not. These ads don’t run outside of USA. In Sweden you don’t ever see an Apple ad, TV or in newspapers/magazines, I suspect this is much the same throughout Europe.

    1. groucho: I agreed with you, there are not many Apple’s ads which Apple needs more ads. I see Samsung’s ads every where.

      A successful business needs wonderful ads, even you built shit like Samsung still can get ahead.

    2. Not correct, Groucho. Those ads run in major European markets. Germany, the UK, France, et al. With a high frequency and reach in Apple’s target group.

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