There has been a lot of talk about Apple’s new Mac ads the last few days.
I don’t dislike them, but I don’t think they’re reflective of Apple’s best work either. To echo what Marco Arment tweeted, they’re not bad, per se, but they don’t feel like your typical Apple commercials. Perhaps the best way to describe them is, as Matthew Panzarino writes, they’re well-targeted yet poorly executed. That seems right.
Two Johns -- Gruber and Moltz -- offer good perspectives on the ads.
Reaction on Twitter seems overwhelmingly negative, but I’m not so sure. These spots don’t appeal to me, personally. They’re not cool. But they’re not supposed to be cool, and they’re not targeted at existing Mac users. This is about assuaging the doubts of would-be switchers. If you switch to Mac, we’ll help you. That’s the message.
It’s still a switcher-based game for Apple. In order to increase Mac sales, they have to get people to switch from Windows. Ads like these (if not necessarily these exact ads) are integral to the game plan.
The larger point with these ads is that they’re not targeted at nerdy Mac users like myself. They’re targeted at, as Moltz notes, prospective switchers. Apple is obviously wanting to capture more of the desktop OS market. It’s important for existing Mac users to keep in mind that these ads are not for us. At all. Again, Apple’s trying to recruit new users. Artistically, the ads may suck, but the larger message overrides the delivery. (Though, to Apple’s credit, even these seemingly sub-par ads are far more attractive than 99.9% of ads on TV.)
Overall, while not the greatest, these ads aren’t embarrassing either.
It’s about the bigger picture: drawing people in. Nerds already know about the Geniuses.