Apple’s iPhone Face ID ads confuse and alienate older generation

“Customer experience tests of three recent iPhone ads find that Baby Boomers – those aged 55 plus – find them annoying and worrying,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “The firm [UserTesting] studied the reactions of two age-groups [Gen Z (18-25) and Baby Boomers (55+)] to three different video ads (shown below).

“Those in the 55+ age-group found the ads actively off-putting, thanks to their fast-paced style, describing them as ‘silly’ and ‘chaotic,'” Lovejoy reports. “In particular, the fast-paced way in which Apple Pay was presented, without any detail about how safe it is, actively worried Baby Boomers.”

Lovejoy reports, “But the firm says that this doesn’t matter much, because the ads aren’t about persuading Android users to switch – rather to reinforce the brand loyalties of younger iPhone owners. ‘Smartphone brand preferences and loyalty are strong and difficult to change… Apple is trying to reach smartphone users as young as possible, before their brand preferences are set. In the process, Apple is willing to confuse or even alienate older customers, because it knows they’ll likely stick with the brand no matter what.'”

[protected-iframe id=”92fd387744eac9f1c65ff2044c3b75fd-17146794-18685410″ info=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tbgeZKo6IUI?rel=0″ width=”590″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””]

 
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. Those not in the intended target audience are often confused and alienated by ads intented for different audiences.

SEE ALSO:
Apple debuts new TV ad for Apple Pay on iPhone X using Face ID – March 23, 2018
Apple debuts new iPhone X ad touting the magic of Face ID – March 16, 2018

43 Comments

      1. The unlock commercial contains ZERO useful information. It conveys the idea that looking at anything will open it magically, which is pure bullshit. Which is what you are full of.

    1. I’m with with you, Kent. Messy, sloppy, unclear, 99% young hip urbanites. One coming from behind a person putting a sticker over their mouth that looks like a drag queen from a horror movie reminds me of ahem, censorship and assault. The unlock ad was more creative, but over the top ridiculous every unlocked item exploded throwing trash everywhere, great message. Needless to say, FaceID does not unlock lockers or chains on a pole, etc. Ok, alternative creative commercials, got it. But when you have to explain it your audience, FAIL …

      1. The unlock commercial contains ZERO useful information. It conveys the idea that looking at anything will open it magically, which is pure bullshit. Which is what you are full of.

        1. “It conveys the idea that looking at anything will open it magically, which is pure bullshit. Which is what you are full of.”

          That was uncalled for, totally wrong and I don’t appreciate it. This is part of what I wrote that you obviously ignored:

          “Needless to say, FaceID does not unlock lockers or chains on a pole, etc.”

          Etc., in other words I said it BEFORE YOU DID. You owe me an apology, but judging by your brute force posts — I won’t hold my breath …

      2. These incredibly moronic ads give some idea why Apple still has about 10% market share in computers and a lot less than it should in phones. And Apple Pay. And Apple TV. The ad agency must be hired based on the pure incompetence and actual hate of the customers. Clearly they don’t respect their viewers. They are serving up pure horseshoe and knowing many of the “hipster doofuses will lap it up. But people with intellects beyond 7th grade urban public school will be repulsed.

  1. I admit that I am in that older demographic. But I am also a fanboy. Typing this on my iPhone C.
    But I really dislike the unlock ad, not because it’s too loud or confusing, but because it’s message seems all wrong. It’s saying that with Face ID, nothing is secure. Anyone can unlock anything. It’s all about invading the privacy of others. That can’t be Apple’s intended takeaway, but it’s all I was left with.

    1. I wasn’t confused at all. In fact there’s little to be confused with, as the ads are superficial, trite and essentially, “one liners.”

      The facial recognition vid especially. Take away the carnival of technology and color and you are left with nothing. Increasingly, a way of advertising that Apple deems successful.

    2. I’m in their 55+ demographic … I don’t find the ads “silly” or “chaotic” and they don’t confuse or alienate me. My guess is the analysis and conclusions drawn about the 55+ group were the product of someone in the 25-35 age bracket employed by the marketing company who think 50 is old.

      1. Yep. I am 59 and have no problem with what Apple do, with regard to their message. However, I would agree that there is more chance of the ‘fear of technology’ factor in our age group. Brought up in the UK, I was in the last school year to be taught how to write with an ink pen, to learn imperial weights and measures, and to have to buy a slide rule for Maths. Watching the initial introduction of iPads to the school where I teach, I would say that 20% of the staff have ‘the fear’. That demographic drops into people in their 40s. For the first time, they realise they will be expected to show the kids how to use an iPad, when they feel that the kids are vastly more expert than them.

    3. That’s because you are most likely fluent in Apple tech. I always thought commercials were intended to a bring new in customers unfamiliar with the product, not entertain or wow current owners. So it naturally follows, when you make cool kid esoteric commercials all age groups are potentially confused …

      1. Yes, that was a tenet of magazine and television advertising for years, but apparently adverts have lately taken on new semiotic significance. “Lifestyle” adverts cement brand loyalty but also attract outsiders who want a cool group to join. Fine for vagabond millennials and lonely teens, but postmodern or hip-hop themes are repellent to many adults, especially those of us who resent some of the young ‘uns precious attitudes of entitlement when we encounter them in the office.

        You know how the FDA forces pharmaceutical firms to disclose complications in their drug commercials? “May cause leprosy, blindness, or loss of sexual function in some individuals. Ask your doctor if Lymphemia is right for you.” — ? The FCC ought to consider tacking on warnings to technology spots. “Texting while in motion can cause serious injury or death. Custom emoji creation can contribute to idiocy. Be aware that none of these features are necessary except to attain status in a peer group of your choice.”

        1. While sensing something askew, guess I did not fully realize the evolving form of “Lifestyle” advertising. Thanks for the realization wake up call, Herself.

          It makes sense from a very limited and secular point of view. But unlike the Mac vs PC, early iPhone and iPads ads this new crop for cool kids are standoffish and too abstract for most folks. Those earlier ads were classic, instantly understood by EVERYONE and communicated Apple tech capability clearly that no one misunderstood … sigh. Apple is moving BACKWARDS in this regard.

          It is very disturbing under SJW Cook Apple is now dividing and compartmentalizing its broad appeal and limiting products and upgrades. Add in the slippery slope of censorship and activist Democratic politics its almost like I don’t recognize the company any longer. Steve would put a stop to this careless disregard immediately.

          Yes, “hip-hop themes are repellent to many adults especially those of us who resent some of the young ‘uns precious attitudes of entitlement when we encounter them in the office.”

          Right and count me in. Rap is crap, vulgar, disrespectful, in your face and the genre is more politically oriented than fine music. Kind of like the snowflakes today.

          The FDA analogy is interesting and forward thinking.

          “The FCC ought to consider tacking on warnings to technology spots. “Texting while in motion can cause serious injury or death. Custom emoji creation can contribute to idiocy. Be aware that none of these features are necessary except to attain status in a peer group of your choice.”

          I’ll second that!

          Kiddie stickies and emojis now dominate Apple upgrades, SAD …

          1. As TheloneousMac keeps pointing out in his curmudgeonly fashion, Apple is a lifestyle brand now, and the things they’ve done for the last few years show that they know it. They’re marketing to their new core constituency, which is not the likes of you and me. Apple’s Board of Directors, Executive Management, and shareholders are all looking the bottom line, liking it, and asking for more of the same. The Steve Jobs Ethos is still in place, but sort of sidelined – enshrined as a kind of motto or zen koan, devoid of any real power to change the drift of practical matters in the design labs or to affect production decisions. A company as mammoth as Apple is an eminent example of flowering capitalism, blooming with all its flavours and odours and giving rise to all sorts of unintended consequences.

            1. Now that you brought it up both of you have been on the front lines reporting the trend, well done.

              As a grumpy old man could not care less. I just need the best Pro and expandable computer the world has ever seen …

          2. I feel for you just the same way I feel for myself, that is the passing of an era when we had what we wanted and needed, and a feeling of being replaced by plug-in kids who will not be able to do the great things we were capable of. God, I hope I am wrong. I so want the kiddies to surpass us, but if their tools, and minds, are dulled, I am not sanguine about their prispects.

            1. “and a feeling of being replaced by plug-in kids who will not be able to do the great things we were capable of.”

              A brilliant summation and something we obviously have been thinking about for a long time. These youngsters don’t even play outside, they are overweight and glued to screens feeding them data both real and fake every day.

              “God, I hope I am wrong. I so want the kiddies to surpass us, but if their tools, and minds, are dulled, I am not sanguine about their prispects.”

              I’ll agree and second that …

  2. I am in the older gen (70+) also, but being an INTP, (Intuitive, Thinking, Perceptive) I am always analyzing. If it can be made better and easier, go for it.

    For some reason it came to mind that most older people don’t want their phone to recognize their OLD face and see them for who they really are!

  3. Like most advertising, these ads are over the top, repetitive, stupid, and boring. This 64 year old boomer grasped the idea within seconds. Edit them down to 15 seconds and now you’ve got a compelling way to get the point across in a clever manner.

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