Apple’s new “Designed by Apple” commercials, which boast about the impact of its Mac and iOS devices, are being considered a flop in comparison with previous ad campaigns from the Cupertino company. Fans have criticized the way in which Apple has bragged about itself and the lack of joy in each video.
The latest ad was first uploaded to YouTube on June 10, and it shows happy people using the iPhone, iPad, and Apple’s notebooks while a narrator explains why the “Designed by Apple in California” signature is on every product the company makes.
It’s a heartwarming ad, and it’s great to see these products bringing joy to their users. But clearly not everyone agrees. According to data from Ace Metrix, a consulting firm that analyzes the effectiveness of TV commercials through surveys, Apple’s new ad scores just 489 points on its scoring system, far below previous Apple campaigns.
The industry average is 543 points, and other Apple commercials have received in excess of 700 points. So what’s the problem with the new ads?
“Apple was never a company that bragged about itself,” Edward Boches, a professor of advertising at Boston University, told Bloomberg. “In a manifesto ad, it’s hard not to come across as self indulgent. And even though it suggests the wonderful things Apple products can do, the ad lacks joy.”
That hasn’t been a problem in previous Apple ads, of course, which are traditionally colorful and upbeat with fast and catchy music.
The new ads are seen as a way of communicating the effort Apple puts into each and every one of its devices, and why they are loved by consumers. It attempts to distance Apple from rivals like Samsung, who churn out new smartphones and tablets each and every week.
But they could also be construed as inappropriately political, according to Boches, who, despite being a “huge fan” of Apple, is particularly concerned with the last few seconds of Apple’s new ads which show the words “Designed by Apple in California” while the narrator says “This is our signature, and it means everything.”
“Is this a subtle way of saying we’re not a Korean company? That’s not the way a leader like Apple should talk,” Boches said. “It feels like Apple is groping a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if this campaign is short-lived.”
Apple has been known to pull adverts that are well received by its fans. Last summer, the company killed a series of commercials featuring Genius Bar assistants that were universally hated.