I’m an Apple guy. The day after the awesome 1984 TV spot aired, I was at the computer store (there were no Apple stores) ordering my first Macintosh. I was hooked. I saw that the Macintosh was more than a computer. It was, and is, a tool that empowers me to be creative. It allows me to think about my work without forcing me to think about my computer. From the days they were born, my children were banging on Mac keyboards. My son Matt and the Macintosh were both born the same year, 1984. I often joke that we should have named him “Mac”. And my daughter Emily now owns more Apple products than I do, and newer ones at that!
The 1984 commercial aired only once, and told me and millions of others that “1984 won’t be like 1984 (Orwellian reference). Over the decades, other amazingly creative Apple commercials followed. Think Different is one of the most amazingly creative, on target, and stunningly captivating commercials of all time. This version, voiced by Steve Jobs, the greatest marketer of our time, helped me confirm that the Apple path I decided to follow was the right path for me.
The iPod commercials helped our culture transition from CDs to digital music downloads that go everywhere. The commercials were simple and colorful, just like the iPod itself.
iMac, iPad, iPhone advertising followed the same streak of creative genius. So, when Apple CEO Tim Cooke was wrapping up his keynote at this week’s WWDC, I was excited when he introduced a new commercial. Expectations were high. I was disappointed. I’ve never said that about anything that Apple has ever created. Ever.
The Our Signature commercial is good. But it’s not great. I’d give it a B-. It is a spot that’s full of contradictions. Poorly written, and improperly targeted, like it was meant for those that work for Apple, not for consumers. And wouldn’t the “signature” Designed by Apple in the USA” resonate with more people?
I’ve bought virtually everything that Apple has made. And I’ve been happy with it all. But I’m not buying this spot.
Note – see Adweek’s comments here.