Stuck in an infinite loop of Apple dancing ads

“It’s an interesting phenomenon — Apple runs an ad and the internet lights up with comment and commentary,” Ken Segall blogs eponymously. “The Apple story of the week is the new HomePod ad. Four minutes in length, I’m not sure you can call it an ad, but it’s out there and getting mostly positive reactions. Directed by Spike Jonze, psychedelic expanding sets, cool music, emotional dance … what’s not to like?”

“It’s not that I don’t like it. I think it’s beautifully produced, like all Apple ads. But it does make me feel like I’ve been here before,” Segall writes. “Or, more accurately, that I’ve been here many times before. Like I’m stuck in an infinite loop of Apple dancing ads.”

“I’m not sick of the dance idea because I’m anti-dance. I’m sick of it because I’m pro-creativity — and what I’ve loved about Apple advertising throughout history is its ability to shake things up, and go where it hasn’t gone before,” Segall writes. “In my opinion, a company like Apple can take two approaches to advertising. It can start thinking about what works for the mainstream audience — like dancing and celebrities (who are also frequently summoned by Apple these days) — or it can use its mass-popularity to take the same risks today as it did when it was the underdog. The latter is the Apple that captured so many hearts.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs is dead.

That much is painfully obvious.

As everything from ads to execution (or lack thereof) to product lines attest, coasting along under a caretaker CEO is what Apple is currently. Brilliance is still possible (see iPhone X), but so are many mistakes and much reliance on what worked before.

You want to produce an Apple commercial? Pitch ’em some dancing!

As we wrote in March 2013:

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.

And as we followed up with in April 2014:

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.

A team of people – talented people who actually get it and who are all on the same page – is an absolute necessity for Apple’s success, but it creates a problem: Jobs was a single filter. A unified mind. The founder. A group of people simply cannot replicate that. This is not to say that they cannot do great work (we believe Apple does, and will continue, to do great work) just that Apple is fundamentally affected by the loss of Steve Jobs and has to figure out a new way to work.

Apple debuts new HomePod short film directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs – March 6, 2018


    1. Yeah, putting inexperienced liberal artistic teenagers on a pedestal that never paid property taxes is NARROW APPEAL and really annoying ad after ad.

      When the ads zoom in on an Iowa farmer’s kitchen table, or a fisherman captain quarters in Maine, or a gun shop owner in Montana, or a fly shop owner in Pennsylvania, or a Baptist preacher in South Carolina, or a retirement home in Florida — then Apple will THINK DIFFERENT.

      Don’t hold your breath.

      Apple as a company is a FALSE PROPHET and gone much, much worse under SJW Cook promoting so called diversity. Apple’s definition of promoting diversity is the gay agenda, the Democratic Party, support for gun control, and on and on.

      Apple recently practiced gun control of their own. Banning the pistol emoji and replacing it with a green squirt gun. Ah, it is a pixel picture and can’t hurt anyone. How politically petty and it speaks volumes to MILLIONS of Americans Apple thumbs their noses at.

      Well, Clueless Cook you are ignoring half the country. I naively thought diversity meant EVERYONE!

      Like the liberal media you only care about blue voting districts on both coasts and the hell with everyone else. Not an ideal business model, but hey, you don’t care as long as the money rolls in and fills the coffers.

      Fine. However, you do not represent America as a whole. You are selective, elitist, divisive, and arrogant tone deaf.

      Wish Steve were around to knock some sense into you …

  1. Apple’s ads carry a clear message – Apple is determined to be hip. Really hip. Only hip. Gangsta hip. Not white hip ever. Not intelligent, but really hip. And young but not bright. Multicultural, but never American. Politically correct always. And lot’s of dancing by politically correct human images. And never explain why Apple is better than its competitors. Or Apple Pay is better than the others. It is best to just be ultra hip. And urban. Always urban. Which is where all the hip people are.

      1. Rap music and urban culture are direct insults to black people and those who elevate this crap are the true racists. People like you. Urban culture celebrates the images of blacks acting as pimps, abusing women and drugs and celebrating law breaking. Urban culture and you are what is destroying the future of blacks in America.

        1. It seems like Kent doesn’t really know as much about rap music or urban culture as he thinks. He may think it’s all negative but it’s not. Some record label execs (who are probably white) push the negativity to sell but not all. I’m not going to go through the bands that do sell and are positive because it just becomes a pissing contest.

          But I’m not sure that will get through to him or not because I’m wondering what some of his phrases really mean. “Not white hip ever” Is white hip a polo shirt or a confederate flag and gun rack– I’m honestly not sure? “Multicultural, but never American” is America not multicultural…or are you just saying there needs to be more white people in the ads? “…dancing by politically correct human images”… what does that even mean? What is a politically correct human image?

          1. Peter is ignorant of the common themes and lyrics of rap music. Do you ever both to read the lyrics? Watch The Wire for a commentary of urban culture which is provided by a true liberal, but an honest depiction of the degradation and the hopelessness of the culture that the likes of you and Patrick seem to want for black people. You celebrate the urban plantation. That is what makes you a racist.

            1. Seen The Wire…great series. I’d say we got different things out of it. I’d say it was an indictment of the administration that creates that reality. But I digress… I just don’t think an ad with a woman escaping into music and dancing “celebrates the urban plantation”

            2. Here are the lyrics from the #4 rap song on Billboard right now. The top 3 are pretty much the same. I am just including the first three verses (sic). Now, tell me how this genre of music, which is always applauded by Apple, depicts black culture. Is it uplifting and inspiring? Does it encourage its audience to mimic these behaviors? Check the news. (BTW, The Wire takes place in Baltimore and depicts a city with a 100% Democrat government.)

              “Rock Star”

              Ayy, I’ve been fuckin’ hoes and poppin’ pillies
              Man, I feel just like a rockstar (star)
              Ayy, ayy, all my brothers got that gas
              And they always be smokin’ like a Rasta
              Fuckin’ with me, call up on a Uzi
              And show up, man them the shottas
              When my homies pull up on your block
              They make that thing go grrra-ta-ta-ta (pow, pow, pow)
              Ayy, ayy, switch my whip, came back in black
              I’m startin’ sayin’, “Rest in peace to Bon Scott”
              Ayy, close that door, we blowin’ smoke
              She ask me light a fire like I’m Morrison
              Ayy, act a fool on stage
              Prolly leave my fuckin’ show in a cop car
              Ayy, shit was legendary
              Threw a TV out the window of the Montage
              Cocaine on the table, liquor pourin’, don’t give a damn
              Dude, your girlfriend is a groupie, she just tryna get in
              Sayin’, “I’m with the band”
              Ayy, ayy, now she actin’ outta pocket
              Tryna grab up from my pants
              Hundred bitches in my trailer say they ain’t got a man
              And they all brought a friend
              Yeah, ayy
              Ayy, I’ve been fuckin’ hoes and poppin’ pillies
              Man, I feel just like a rockstar (star)
              Ayy, ayy, all my brothers got that gas
              And they always be smokin’ like a Rasta
              Fuckin’ with me, call up on a Uzi
              And show up, man them the shottas
              When my homies pull up on your block
              They make that thing go grrra-ta-ta-ta (pow, pow, pow)
              I’ve been in the Hills fuckin’ superstars
              Feelin’ like a pop star (21, 21, 21)
              Drankin’ Henny, bad bitches jumpin’ in the pool
              And they ain’t got on no bra
              Hit her from the back, pullin’ on her tracks
              And now she screamin’ out, “no más” (yeah, yeah, yeah)
              They like, “Savage, why you got a 12 car garage
              And you only got 6 cars?” (21)
              I ain’t with the cakin’, how you kiss that? (kiss that?)
              Your wifey say I’m lookin’ like a whole snack (big snack)
              Green hundreds in my safe, I got old racks (old racks)
              L.A. bitches always askin’ where the coke at
              Livin’ like a rockstar, smash out on a cop car
              Sweeter than a Pop-Tart, you know you are not hard
              I done made the hot chart, ‘member I used to trap hard
              Livin’ like a rockstar, I’m livin’ like a rockstar

            3. If we’re going to start using lyrics you gotta use someone who’s an artist. Latest from Kendrick Lamar, super popular…who actually looks like Omar on his latest album cover…is way smarter even tho he may seem like a thug.

              Tell me what you gon’ do to me
              Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me
              You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
              Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me
              F**k you and all your expectations
              I don’t even want your congratulations
              I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation
              I hate people that feel entitled
              Look at me crazy ’cause I ain’t invite you
              Oh, you important?
              You the moral to the story, you endorsing?
              Motherf***er, I don’t even like you
              Corrupt a man’s heart with a gift
              That’s how you find out who you dealin’ with
              A small percentage, who I’m building with
              I want the credit if I’m losing or I’m winning
              On my momma that’s the realest shit

              You can find terrible stuff that’s popular for anything. When hair metal was hot you could pick out some terrible top ten hit to prove your point. Look, I’m not going to convince you of anything, and what is really telling (at least to me) is that you won’t even begin to address the other comments I asked you about.

    1. … I must say I agree with you, and Patrick and peter are the typical lib snowflakes we have to deal with in these times. If you say anything negative about anyone who isn’t white then you are a racist. Now, if you want to trash whites or especially white males then you are high on their list.

    1. But MDN is correct to say that Apple has no unifier of perpicuous vision and insightful direction, a masterful ringleader, and it will likely not acquire one since Jobs installed Ive who does not seem to be that guy yet is top dog, so the Apple corporation muddles forward relying on Ive’s overly-aesthetic vision as well as on the questionable internal school whose curriculum was intended to preserve Job’s successful frame of reference but, instead, is likely stuck in past methods that have become conservative and academic in the sense of teaching stuff that no longer work, and unable to adapt and execute efficiently and in a unified, modern way.

  2. Gotta strongly disagree with Ken Segall and with MDN’s take.

    Apple’s use of dancing in its music related advertising is not and will never be worn out because music and dancing are forever bound together in the human psyche. Dancing is a universal human shorthand for the enjoyment of music. Don’t blame Apple for using dance to communicate the enjoyment of music, blame the way the human brain is wired.

    1. I agree 100% that many people express the joy of music through dance. And I believe that the love of music is a big part of Apple’s DNA. But—does this mean that the ONLY way you can create a great music ad is to show people dancing? Year in, year out? There’s no other way to show that music is a part of our lives, and that Apple technology is really good at delivering it? That was the point of my article. A little creativity goes a long way.

      1. I’ve really loved the recent AirPods spots which show folks walking/dancing down the street as the force of gravity changes directions. Fun, engaging, and creative. Like this new ad, they are a celebration of the power of music to elevate our moods and minds.

        It seems to me that music and dancing are like chocolate and peanut butter. Apple could avoid the use of dance in their music ads, but why should they? Dancing is fun and visually interesting.

        1. You’re still missing my point. Of course music and dance are a perfect match. But that doesn’t mean every ad should feature dance. Music affects our emotional well being in countless ways. Why keep recycling one concept? Take a look at Pandora’s ad ( No dancing—it’s a fresh, new way to say “the music of your life.” Apple can keep churning out dance ads and I’m sure they’ll do just fine. But being repetitive isn’t the way Apple built its reputation for great advertising.

  3. Maybe Apple is concentrating on music and dance for the HomePod because they clearly understand that’s the motivator for HomePod purchases. That will most likely change over the coming years, but for now that’s that is going to work.

    If you’re ordering diapers, you talk to Alexa. If you want to know what your commute will be like that day, you buy a Google Home. If you want to fill your home with a glorious and diverse soundtrack you buy a HomePod.

      1. This was one of the seminal things that drove Jobs, and one of the primary qualities that distanced Apple (and the Mac) from the rest of it. Jobs had said it quite many times, technology will never penetrate the mainstream unless the industry’s philosophy shifts towards the intersection of engineering and liberal arts.

        Or, in the words of Jobs himself, “…Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.