Apple was once the king of commercials, with its ads being head and shoulders above the competition. Unfortunately that’s no longer the case, with Apple’s new iPad ads failing to inspire. Other companies, including its sworn enemy Microsoft, are happily filling the void left by Apple’s disappearance into the advertising abyss.
Apple recently unveiled several new ads for the iPad. The ones released so far have been titled Alive, Together, and Hollywood (embedded below), the latter making its debut during the 2013 Academy Awards. They’re all OK, but just “OK” doesn’t compare to the quality of commercials Apple has become renowned for over the decades.
Part of the problem Apple faces is that for the first time in its history it’s absolutely on top. The world is changing, and the post-PC era has definitely arrived. This means that Apple, with its trio of iPad, iPhone, and iPod goodness, is at the peak of its powers.
This is a problem, though it’s obviously a nice one to have. Everybody has heard of Apple, knows what products it sells, and knows whether they want one and whether they’re ever likely to buy one. Which makes commercials much less important in terms of turning people onto the company and its wares.
The knock on effect of this is that the drive to innovate and be creative has been removed. When Apple was the underdog it took an incredible effort to get people to even notice the company. Now, it’s the other way around, with insipid and uninspiring commercials only likely to turn people off.
In other words Apple has become Microsoft, the company that never quite got advertising because it never actually needed to do so in order to make money. Microsoft has more recently broken out of this decades-long funk and released positive adverts with a strong message at its core. Because it’s had to in order to stay in the game.
The question that must be asked then: Has Apple got too big, too successful, and too powerful to really care what promotional efforts it’s pumping out into the ether?