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Critics Blast Apple's Cheesy New Ad Campaign 244

theodp writes "BetaBeat reports that people are pretty much falling over themselves to mock Apple's cheesy new Genius ad campaign, using zingers like 'intellectually cheap,' 'cringe-inducing,' 'borderline smarmy,' and — perhaps the unkindest cut of all — Microsoft-worthy — to describe them. Apple's trilogy-of-terror ad lineup includes Mayday ('An Apple Genius shows a fellow passenger how easy it is to make great home movies with iMovie. All before the tray tables are returned to their upright position.'), Labor Day ('An Apple Genius shows a soon-to-be father all the amazing things he can make with iPhoto.'), and Basically ('An Apple Genius points out there are a lot of things that separate a Mac from an ordinary computer, like great apps that come built in.'). The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann says Steve Jobs would be appalled by the new ads, which certainly don't fare well in a head-to-head comparison with Think Different."
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Critics Blast Apple's Cheesy New Ad Campaign

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  • This inevitably pops up everywhere, but I think it's more symptomatic of a lack of confidence in post-Jobs Apple, producing a self-fulfilling prophecy, than necessarily an independent assessment. Perceptions of Apple have been so closely tied to Jobs for years that evaluation of how smart decision are are strongly influenced by that. There are things that Apple could do today that will get people kvetching about "ugh, if only Steve Jobs were still here he'd never do that", but if Steve Jobs himself had done the identical thing 5 years ago, people would raise an eyebrow, maybe think it's weird, but give him the benefit of the doubt, assuming he knows what he's doing. Basically, people don't trust Apple knows what they're doing the way they trusted jobs, so even things Jobs would've done get that "if only Jobs..." treatment!

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:30AM (#40843815)

    They even got their ad campaign freely detailed on Slashdot and by all those different critics. Can't be more successful than that.

    If the ads were any good we'd see Samsung ads that look just like it.

    I still haven't seen the ads... mythtv dvr with auto commercial detection and autoskipping, adblocker on the web browser, don't watch sports, haven't watched live TV in years, don't buy newspapers or magazines (although I get a couple "journal" type mags)... What's apple's plan to push their message to a guy like me who has buckets of cash and no ad viewing habit? Oh, I see, get their ads discussed on /. damn you apple damn you that worked pretty well.

    The only ads I've seen a couple years are the ford sync / etc / ads inserted inline on twit and revision3. However, recently when I watch revision3 shows on my roku the first thing is womens herpes medications WTF is up with that. Are all ads that poorly targeted out in the real (aka unblocked/unskipped) world? Like are sporting event commercials all romance novel publicity spots, etc?

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:42AM (#40844019)

    It's insulting, as a male, to see a husband portrayed as a complete ditz; if they'd done it with a woman, there would have been hell to pay, or people wouldn't have thought it was funny. Look at the idiot man, everyone!

    As a techie, I found the way the Genius acts to show someone who is practically codependent. They're not people - they're apparently robots who spend their entire lives wherever they are, serving as customer service agents?

  • The take-away (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:48AM (#40844127) Homepage

    Apple customers need help for even the simplest thing on their Apple computer.
    Apple customers lack common sense.
    Apple customers don't even know what an Apple computer is.

  • People say that there is no such thing as bad publicity. That isn't the case. Ask BP what it was like to be in the news constantly for the oil spill.

    Microsoft is in the news for losing market share in just about every key segment since Ballmer took over. Apple is in the news for failing to meet sales expectations for the iPhone and a disappointing earnings statement.

    These ads suggest that Apple may have lost their touch when Jobs died. Consumers and stockholders might have reason to question the future of the company under Tim Cook.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:58AM (#40844327)

    I hear about Microsoft a lot here too. Do you think that all helps Microsoft?

    Anyway, David Mitchell [] - who played PC in the British Mac vs PC ads - said it best. In Britain, we hate smugness and prefer the PC character. So this can only make things worse.

  • Think Different (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:02PM (#40844393) Homepage
    Yeah, sure, this is an astroturf post. Why else would it repeat Apple's words, as well as provide links to all the appropriate ads? You know, they intentionally make lame ads like this to "encourage" social media discussion. The worst ad is the one that nobody talks about.

    Enough about that, let's examine Apple's most famous ad, "1984". Read the text, while thinking (differently) about the kind of company that Apple is in 2012.

    "Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives.
    We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology.
    Where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths.
    Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth.
    We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause.
    Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion.
    We shall prevail!"

    How ironic, eh? Apple has become the very thing that they despised, back then. One True Way of doing things, and if you don't like it, hit the highway.

    I'm a late adopter, for very good reasons I won't go into here. I recently saw my first iPad in the wild, my new roomie has one. I had some cool Cajun mp3s he wanted, so I gave him my USB stick to transfer the files. I even GAVE him the actual CD that I purchased from the hand of the artist himself, to keep, as I didn't particularly care for the music and he loved it. Oops! The iPad doesn't have a USB port. He explained he had to do everything by iTunes. Bummer, eh?

    Next, he was going for a new job, and wanted me to look over his contract. He sent me the .DOC file by email, and I annotated it using Libre Office's "CTRL-ALT-C comment" function. I highlighted the parts of the contract I thought should be changed, made my comments, and resent the file to him. Oops! Turns out, there's no free .DOC reader that will show those comments. His brother ended up loading the files onto his PC and sending him JPG screenshots. I'm sure if he wanted to pay $19.99, there would be some sort of solution to his problem. Again, a garden of pure ideology, secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths.

    Jeez, the entire Apple motto, "Think Different", is a riff on IBM's motto, "Think". Let's all think differently and ignore the obvious grammatical error. Oof, how outdated! It's like how Texas A&M defines themselves by the rivalry to UT, and has no personality without they're in different conferences. Awkward.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:39PM (#40846097) Homepage Journal

    They are the first in a long time that don't lie. All the iPhone and iPad ads were sped up, the real devices not being as fast as they show them to be. The Mac vs. PC ads made ridiculous claims about Macs not getting viruses. Maybe if you strip away the bullshit this is what is left.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.