Apple debuts ‘Chicken Fat’ television ad (with video)

Apple has debuted a new television advertisement now appearing on U.S. broadcast and cable networks.

Actually titled “Strength,” the ad features a dubious musical choice which makes copious references to “chicken fat.” Yes, it’s meant to be fun, we can manage to get the facile concept, but, among other issues (see another below), it comes off as incongruous with the imagery (not to mention with the target audience), as if the wrong music had been slapped on a decent-looking ad.

The “Chicken Fat” song in the ad was originally composed for John F. Kennedy’s physical fitness program and was performed by Robert Preston. Recordings of the song were sent to U.S. school officials to accompany the official US Physical Fitness program of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness back in the 1960s.

Anyone familiar with the song would be in their 50s or 60s now — or precisely the demographic alleged by Samsung’s ads showing Apple Retail Store lines full of moms and dads waiting for Apple iPhones. Great job subliminally reinforcing your competitor’s marketing message, Phil.

Clearly, Apple’s continues to feel and exhibit the loss of Steve Jobs when it comes to advertising.


Direct link to video here.

MacDailyNews Take: To put it diplomatically: Steve Jobs would have made better choices.

Less diplomatically: We have but one question, if Phil Schiller is worth millions of dollars as Apple VP of worldwide marketing, why can’t he recognize good TV ads vs. mediocre or worse?

To be a bit more blatant: Without Steve Jobs by their side – Eddy, we’re looking at you, too – some of these VPs at Apple don’t seem able to produce at levels previously attributed, perhaps wrongly, to them.

B.S.J., everything these guys touched turned to gold. A.S.J., well, they look a bit more mortal.

As we wrote in April: As Apple CEO, Steve Jobs focused on two things – product design and marketing. He was a genius at both. His talents cannot be replaced with one person. In fact, his talents in either discipline cannot be replaced by one person. Jony Ive and Phil Schiller without Jobs cannot be expected to perform as if Jobs was still working with them.

After witnessing Apple’s hit-and-miss post-Jobs advertising efforts, we await Apple’s next “new product category” with even more interest, and certainly more trepidation, than usual.

Related articles:
Apple shifts TV ads production in-house as rift widens with TBWA\Chiat\Day – June 5, 2014
Emails show Phil Schiller shocked over Apple’s ad agency suggestions – April 8, 2014
Apple’s advertising dilemma aired at $2 billion trial – April 4, 2014
Samsung again mocks Apple customers in iPhone 5 queue via new Galaxy S III ad (with video) – September 19, 2012
Apple pulls ‘Genius’ ad series from its website, YouTube channel – August 22, 2012
Samsung runs print ad attacking Apple’s iPhone 5 in major U.S. newspapers – September 16, 2012
Samsung Super Bowl ad mocks Apple iPhone users – February 6, 2012
Could the Apple-TBWA love affair, one of advertising’s most-storied matchups, survive without Jobs? – January 24, 2011


    1. With the exception of 1984, and arguably, some of the recent holiday ads, most of Apple’s TV ad campaigns have been major garbage, and most of them while Steve was running the show. Apple has never had good, and for sure, it has never had consistant footing in producing TV ad campaigns. And again, and most notably, while he was alive and running things. What I’m most stunned about in this post is MDN’s take. Seriously, WTF! Extrapolating the potential quality of up and coming product releases based on a not-so-unusually-inane Apple ad?! Holy cow! We really have lost perspective. Steve was surely a unique and wonderful blend of entrepreneur and tech-designer, but a god he definitely was not.

      Now, let’s all pull our shorts out of our cracks, take a step back, and just relax a bit.

            1. Yeh. It’s both peculiar and funny that he doesn’t even seen that the content and manner of his retorts simply illustrate what I say.

    1. Well Steve wasn’t fool proof just look at that damn yacht he was having built.

      But that ad is not only one of the worst Apple ads its one of the worst ads from anyone. I grew up on great ads my partner worked for Chiat Day, why the hell is happening here. Employ a young hungry creative and give him/her a chance to do something edgy, imaginative and creative. You can’t sink much lower than being out ad campaigned by Samsung.

  1. Works for me. Definitely niche appeal, but a windup to coming health applications. My own experience using the iPhone with Withings apps has been incredibly good. Good to see Apple building on their “health” announcement well in advance.

  2. Give me a break. This propensity from bloggers to over-analize every little thing Apple does is just ridiculous. Now we’re supposed to get upset over songs in commercials? Why? Just because you say so? Sorry, but no. It’s just a stupid commercial; and until someone shows actual evidence that it’s having a measurable affect on Apple’s bottom line, it’s probably a good idea not to foment over it. Get over yourself and get on with life!

  3. The chicken fat ad is terrible!!!
    The worst ad I gave ever seen from Apple!
    Someone needs to be fired!
    Take that ad off the air immediately!
    Embarrassing, pathetic, tasteless, stupid,….

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