Apple debuts ‘If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone’ ad campaign

Apple has debuted a new ad campaign for iPhone with two new TV commercials that have begun airing on U.S. network and cable television.

The ads, entitled “Loved” and “Hardware & Software,” both state plainly: “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

“Loved.” 99% of people who have an iPhone… Love their iPhone.

“Hardware & Software.” The iPhone’s hardware and software are designed together. Because when we design the whole phone, the whole experience is better.

MacDailyNews Take: Boom!

Two excellent spots that speak the truth. Don’t settle for a pretend iPhone, get the real thing.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


      1. Dude. Bad manners. You could have said it all in one post. There is no need to be a headline hog. Besides, you are way off topic. What did you think of the ads?

        Personally, I liked them. I think there are a lot of people who don’t know better, who are being preyed upon by vendors of second-rate goods. And they are getting ripped off.

    1. I am disappointed in you. Even when I disagree with what you say I appreciate the thoughtful reasoning you have. You have none of it on this. Samgsung tried with the most secure Android and went nowhere. BB will have to fork the hell out Android and restrict apps to keep a level of security they have. Amazon tried to do a complete fork of Android and push out Google and no one wanted it. “And Blackberry doesn’t force you to touch anything.” This is a weakness not a strength. Screen real estate is what people want. The iPhone was the first to prove this, then Samsung. How many times have we heard that BB and MS are going to kill the iPhone. Instead all they do is fire people and write off billions. What BB has had is long term contracts that are running out. BBM has been their strength with security and reliability. Part of that has to do with it’s in Canada not the NSA controlled U.S. Also BB has not had exponential growth so their servers have not been as taxed as Apple’s. Apple’s fight with the NSA and keeping important information out of memory and on a low level in the CPU ( secure enclave) will have a lot of people looking to Apple as their BB replacement. Apple solved their greatest weakness with BB in the IBM Moble First deal. That being understanding and connections with enterprises. BB going to Android shows just how bad things are.

      Thelonious Mac you are better than this. You may disagree with me, but please give us some details.

  1. I believe the first one is a bit weak. It relies 100% on emotional contagion, or the bandwagon effect. That will only pick up the “me too” crowd. (Besides it is the antithesis of what the long time [think back to the 80s or so] Apple supporters believed and directly opposite to the “Think Different” campaign.)

    The second one is much better. It clearly gives a reason to buy an iPhone. It’s the whole package made to work optimally from end to end. It’s not a bunch of disparate pieces glued together for a barely good enough system that the vendors have to sell on BOGO deals in order to move their products.

    It’s what Apple should have said about the Mac as far back as the 80s.

    1. I think the first one will be much more effective. People don’t know or care about software, hardware, how it is designed and how it is supposed to work. The most meaningful piece of information for them is that everyone who bought the iPhone loves it. This tells them more than any technical information you may throw at them.

    2. Now that Apple is shipping 50 million iPhones a quarter, they can’t very well say anything along the lines of “think different”. So, the “join the crowd group that loves their iPhones” and the “hardware and software work together” messages are both effective. As Predrag pointed out, some people will pay no attention to the hardware/software argument. They don’t care or don’t understand why that’s important. For those, the “99% of iPhone users love their iPhone” message is excellent. It’s actually a really awesome statistic that nobody else in practically any industry can tout. It’s amazing and Apple should shout it from the rooftops.

  2. “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone” ?!? Since when does Apple has to hint at the competition in their ads? It’s not 2005 anymore. Apple’s the leader. These two ads are boring, forgettable and atrocious. They are talking to people’s reason instead of their heart. Tim is bringing Apple’s brand to the ground. No wonder Johnny is rumoured to be leaving. As a 20 years Apple follower, it’s tough to watch…

    1. There are plenty of iPhone ads that talk to people’s emotions. These two are for a large group of consumers who rationalize their decisions. That tel them why they should buy the iPhone (rather than telling them that they should just go and do it).

      1. Rational messaging is more effective on a web page where the brand as more space to elaborate and the viewer as more time to digest the information. I’m curious to read Ken Segall’s take.

        1. In a mere 30-second ad, Apple creates some doubt about the competitors and states unequivocally that the iPhone is *the* original market-leading touchscreen smartphone and that everybody else just emulated it. I think it’s actually pretty brilliant – especially since it’s generally true.

          1. The doubt factor will probably work best with those still confused about iPhone being a specific phone rather than an eponym for the entire class of smartphones..

    2. Apple may be the market leader, but people purchase competitors’ phones by the millions. There is absolutely a case to be made for creating doubt in consumers’ minds about the competitors’ products. The iPhone was and is a category-defining product. There’s nothing at all wrong with Apple saying so and calling the other products “me-too” products without having to come right out and say it.

    1. I agree with you on that. I think companies have been waiting for BB to go completely under to get it tech cheep. There may be issues with the Canadian Government too.

  3. I’ve already ranted on Twitter about this. It’s so low-rent. Where did they get this cheesy tag line from. It’s gotta be stolen from either a potato chip/cracker ad or some car rental company, etc.

    You have Angela Ahrendts from Burberry, the best Engineers and Marketers on this, the hottest product lineup in the Industry and advertising reminiscent of WalMart. What a mess.

    Okay, here’s what Apple needs to do, go back 2 years and watch the “Signing out Work” WWDC video again. Aspirational. Not bargain basement shit. This company is so much better than these two corny ads. Send whoever wrote these back to Dell’s Marketing co ASAP

    1. I disagree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Apple isn’t BMW no matter how much you may want it to be so. Consumers can walk into any Best Buy or wireless store and see the iPhone sitting right alongside its competitors at the same (or nearly the same) prices, so the iPhone brand simply isn’t aspirational in nature.

      Apple doesn’t only want to sell iPhones to the wealthiest 20% of consumers, so messaging to that effect would be confusing and would alienate a large chunk of the market.

      I’m all for emotion, aspiration and inspiration, but even that runs out. Think bigger.

      1. You’re absolutely right, but don’t forget, Apple tracks marketshare as a lower priority. The #1 priority is profit share, and Apple has been eating that for years. It’s highly linked to Customer Satisfaction, which is perfect.

        I think their ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign is great (for camera stuff) and I like alot of their work.

        This one is just bland, and a hate to say it, because I love Apple, unoriginal.

        “If it’s not an _____, it’s not an _______”

        Advertising is hard, man. Apparently, it’s even hard when you have the best selling product line…ever.

        Or maybe it’s just that phones aren’t aspirational anymore, that’s what the Apple watch is for. The Apple watch ads were kind of tone-deaf, but I thought their product intro videos were awesome.

      1. I’m not sure where you get ‘cheap and cheesy’. Most aspirational brands (BMW, Daimler-Benz, Porsche, Luis-Vuiton, etc) advertise with the same message: there is nobody else like us (“Relentless pursuit of perfection”, “Engineering the Impossible” — Lexus; “Unlike any other” — Merzedes; “The Ultimate Driving Machine” — BMW; “There is No Substitute” — Porsche; “The Art of Being Unique” — Cartier…). The message reinforces aspirational quality of Apple brand.

        1. Compared to the examples you gave (clearly leaves no doubt for being aspirational), Apple’s current tagline is similar to a mathematical identity (e.g. 1=1) and wholly depends on the viewers feelings of the product. If they have a negative view it may equate to “an iPhone is only an iPhone nothing more”, if positive “iPhone is the best, accept no imitations”, if neutral “Oh, it’s an iPhone, that’s nice”.

    1. The campaign could be taken as ‘feel good’ reinforcement ads for those that already own an iPhone. On the other hand it may cause people to seriously think about what they want in their smartphone and what they are willing to pay.

  4. I don’t like them at all. Terrible for an Apple fan.

    That’s not the target, and these are solid enough for those blockheads.

    Still, unimpressive. A FAR cry from 1984, the “I’m a Mac” campaign, and the colorful iPod ads.

    But they’ll work.

    And what a lame tag line. Just lazy.

    But it’ll work.

    And, in the interest of this becoming a trillion-dollar company, and the impact that’ll have on my portfolio, I’m totally cool with thinking these ads are subpar…cuz they’ll work.

  5. …looking for an excuse to post… AH! Here we go.

    Meanwhile, in the lAnd of Android:

    One MEEELLION users download Facebook-pwning droid game
    Yeee-haarrrr! Cowboy Adventure rides off into sunset with saddles full of passwords

    Threat researchers at security vendor ESET say a malicious Facebook-creds-stealing trojan masquerading as an Android game has been downloaded up to a million times.

    ESET chap Robert Lipovsky says the Cowboy Adventure game, and another also malicious game dubbed Jump Chess, has been since removed from Google’s Play code bazaar after stealing an unknown number of Facebook credentials.

    . . .

    Fang says the scam spread to users in a victim’s contact list, and likely used automated scripts to spread over social media.

    The VXers were smart to use the Mono framework as it allowed them to evade analysis and set a location-based trigger to deactivate the malicious features and avoid antivirus detection. ®

    IOW: Yet another FAIL by Google to clean up malware at Google Play Store until AFTER vast devastation. Their ‘human screening process’ isn’t working too well, eh?

  6. First, I am tired of uninformed Android phone users saying things like, “Call me on my iPhone.” iPhone means something special like, “Valet! Bring me my Rolls.”
    Second, I think the ads are a complementary pair. The first one appeals to emotion; the second to reason.

    1. Maybe it’s just me but when a specific product name becomes an eponym representing the entire class of the product category, it’s more like saying ‘get my car’. Great mindshare but not necessarily meaning anything ‘better’ to the general public. Adding the current “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone” campaign to that seems pretty tepid.

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