What happened to Apple’s marketing magic?


When will we see another "1984?"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Chances are you can vaguely remember the last Apple ad you saw, but do you remember it in the same way you remember the company’s “1984” commercial for the original Macintosh, or its wonderful “Think Different” campaign? It’s been a while since we saw anything quite as iconic.

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Apple still creates great commercials we can’t help but talk about, but many fans would say those ads aren’t as good as they once were. Has Apple lost its marketing magic, or is it just too difficult to create truly iconic ads in the digital age?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over these questions and more!

Russian minister accuses Apple of distributing gay porn to minors


Won't someone think of the Russian children? Photo:
Here's a complaint we've not heard before about last year's U2 album giveaway. Photo: Island Records

Some people just won’t let go, will they?

Still upset about Apple’s much-maligned U2 album giveaway last year, Russian politician Alexander Starovoitov has come up with a new complaint we’ve not heard before: That by gifting Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes customers around the world, Apple was knowingly distributing gay pornography.

If found guilty, Apple could be forced to cease operations in Russia for 90 days, or pay 1 million roubles in fines.

What’s inside Apple’s mystery tent?

Apple's tiny white tent nestles between buildings at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Photo: Jim Merithew/ Cult of Mac
Apple's tiny white tent nestles between buildings at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Another Apple event, another mysterious building sprouting up seemingly overnight. They pop up to shield Apple’s prep work from prying eyes, but they also fuel the imaginations of anybody who’s interested in Cupertino’s next move.

The latest such structure — this time with solid white walls and a tented, tarp-like roof — isn’t nearly as elaborate as the gigantic building erected before last fall’s Apple Watch event, but the mysteries concealed could be gigantic.

The big reveal comes at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts next Monday, when we will almost assuredly learn more about the Apple Watch (among other things). Until then, all we can do is wait and wonder: What could be hidden inside Apple’s mystery tent?

U2’s album is still huge among iOS music users


Apple's U2 marketing campaign cost over $100 million. Photo: Apple
Apple's U2 marketing campaign cost over $100 million. Photo: Apple

Despite angering iOS users by forcing their album, Songs of Innocence, onto every iPhone and iPad in the world, U2’s iTunes exclusivity bet is paying off big time.

Nearly one in four of all music users on iOS devices listened to U2 in January, which was nearly double the second most popular artist, Taylor Swift. The force-fed album debuted last fall but its impact is still visible five months later, according to Kantar’s latest survey of iOS users, which found that 23% of all music users on iOS listened to at least one U2 track in January.

Here’s the top 10 artists in January: