During the opening ceremonies for the Olympics Apple aired three new commercials, centering on a young Apple Genius with ‘can do’ attitude helping Mac users in different situations.
From the opening seconds, I thought these ads were awful. Why? Well, I thought the scenarios were inane, the people inept and thoughtless, and it painted a rather stereotypical view of a Mac user as a tech-incompetent person who needs to be spoon-fed and have their hand held to accomplish anything. That is a view put forth for decades by DOS and Windows users and more recently by Android users looking to deride Apple users as ‘iSheep’.
InvestorPlace sums up why many Mac users and tech-lovers in general might hate the new spots:
1.The ads are insulting to Apple users.
2.The new Apple spokesperson is too smug.
3.The expectant father needs to get his life in order.
4.The ads make Apple products seem too hard to use.
5.The products Apple should be selling aren’t even in the ads.
In talking to a few people, the overall thought people had was that the Genius kid WAS annoying. BUT … the central message was that unlike with a PC, where you are hard-sold some shiny new box – or Ultrabook – based on specs (often in contrast to a Mac) by a big box store where the only help you will ever see is with hardware issues, Apple has a post-sales support system that really works for users of all levels.
Unfortunately, they only show one type of user – the one who has misplaced priorities and is scrambling at the last second to deal with an issue in one of the basic apps included with the computer. While it shows Apple support providing excellent and timely solutions – which is very much the experience we at Gear Diary have enjoyed – the way it goes about it seemed off-putting. Well, to me at least. Chime in with your thoughts in the comment.
Another thing that has come up over the weekend – the idea that this was a dark omen of bad things coming as the first full new ad campaign since Steve Jobs died. First, I’m not sure that is true since he had been scaling back for some time and there have certainly been new ads since he has been gone. Second, it is an ad campaign. There have been winners and losers since ‘1984’ was followed by ‘Lemmings’, both of which were also part of the (first) Jobs era. I guess I don’t see it as some great portent.
I mean, I seriously don’t like the new ads … but worse than THIS from the Steve Jobs era?