Apple Shoots Self in Foot With New Windows-Like Campaign
So everyone is piling on TBWA for two its most recent Apple commercials in which a Dell Dude-like character comes to the rescue of people in the midst of various computing nightmares. The piling on is well warranted for one simple reason; Apple products are supposed to be so easy to use that you rarely have to call in an Apple Genius for help.
Granted that's not entirely true. Everyone can use a little help with their MacBook from time to time but the brand has always positioned itself as the uncluttered, easy-to-use alternative to the seemingly difficult-to-use Windows alternative.
Straying from this positioning - while slightly humorous in these two ads - is, in our opinion, damaging to the brand. Apple is a pristine, elegant, no muss, no fuss product line. Likening it - in the case of this commercial - to a frustrated Windows user does the brand no favors. It simply positions Apple as an also-ran computer brand that is rife with all the headaches and complexities of it Windows competition.
We can't really comprehend what the mindset was over at TBWA when it created this commercial but we certainly hope it's not indicative of a new, we're-just- as-much-a pain-in-the-ass-as-Windows direction.
What we can comprehend is the brand's desire to highlight the retail expertise behind the brand. And doing so without reason (ie. creating a problem to have a Genius fix it), would prove difficult.
A third spot in the campaign steers clear of highlighting difficulties users may have with its product and lets the Genius shine by politely informing a guy who just bought a computer that is "basically a Mac" of all the Mac-like features his black market laptop doesn't have. This spot works because it touts what's great about a Mac without touching on what might be difficult about using it.
Obviously, this campaign is a new direction for Apple. One that focuses on the expertise of the Genius. But it would behoove Apple to steer clear of anything that portrays its products as difficult to use - even if they sometimes can be.