Siri Ads Featuring John Malkovich Are Officially Apple’s Worst Ads In Years

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Malkovich has Siri telling jokes, but Apple's fans are far from amused.
Malkovich has Siri telling jokes, but Apple's fans are far from amused.

Apple has produced some of the most memorable adverts in history. Its “1984” commercial for the original Macintosh is still talked about today, and we can all remember the “Mac vs. PC” commercials, and the dancing silhouettes that were used to promote the iPod. However, it hasn’t quite been the same story in recent years.

Despite promoting incredibly popular products like the iPhone and the iPad, Apple’s most recent commercials have been far from unforgettable. In fact, the CEO of one ad-tracking firm has revealed that Apple is being mocked for its latest Siri commercials, which employ celebrities to sell a feature that rarely works in real life.

In a profile of Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, who controls the company’s massive $1 billion advertising budget, Bloomberg Businessweek talks about Apple’s recent ad campaigns. It focuses on the recent iPhone 4S ads in particular, which use celebrities to promote Siri:

Apple’s latest spots feature celebrities using Siri, the iPhone’s voice-recognition feature. It’s a departure for a company that typically avoids celebrity endorsements, and so far they’re falling flat by Apple standards, says Peter Daboll, CEO of ad-tracking firm Ace Metrix.

Daboll revealed that Apple’s John Malkovich ad, entitled “Life,” scored just 559 points on Ace Metrix’s 900-point scale.

“They haven’t been in the 500s in years,” he says. The ads have met with mockery in some circles, in part because the actors’ experience with Siri is laughably different from real-life uses of the imperfect technology. Customers have even filed a class action against Apple claiming Siri doesn’t work as advertised.

Trip Chowdry, an analyst with Global Equities Research suggests that the biggest problem with Apple’s most recent ads is that they’re glorified to make certain products appear more spectacular than they actually are. The Siri ones are a perfect example of that, and so are the commercials for the latest iPad, according to Chowdry, which promote its “resolutionary” Retina display, “which is nice but not exactly revolutionary.”

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek