You might know who Ken Segall is from his appearance on The CultCast. Ken was a Creative Director at TBWA/Chiat/Day for many years, and worked closely with Steve Jobs, even helping to develop the iconic “Think Different” ad campaign. Now Ken is speaking out about Apple’s new “Genius” ads, and he has some harsh words towards the TV spots.
In a post on his blog, Ken discusses the new series of advertisements, thoroughly picking apart each aspect of the arguments for and against the ads. According to Segall, the new advertisements are “Causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so. I honestly can’t remember a single Apple campaign that’s been received so poorly.”
Addressing those who have defended the ads, claiming that they are targeted towards a different group, Ken says:
That’s a seemingly logical defense. It’s also a horrible one. How many great campaigns have you seen that appeal to one target group, but turn off everyone else? There’s no excuse for a campaign like that. Apple’s momentum is fueled by the enthusiasm of its core customers. The last thing it wants is to win new customers at the cost of looking ridiculous to its enthusiastic supporters.
While the ads are a dramatic shift for Apple, change is usually good, at least when it’s change for the better. From Segall:
It’s great to be unexpected. But if you’re not true to the brand, being unexpected just makes you look silly. The Mac vs. PC campaign was unexpected, but its cleverness was in sync with the Apple brand. Absolutely, these ads are very unexpected for Apple — just not of the quality we’re used to.
The entire article is worth a read, especially coming from a former advertising expert. Personally, I think the new ads are reminiscent of the “Get A Mac” campaign, and I actually enjoyed them. I know I’m in the minority, though.
What do you think of the new ads? Has Apple made a mistake, or is this just a little break from the norm?
Source: Ken Segall’s Observatory.