I'm happy to declare that I am neither an Apple zealot nor an Apple hater. They make great products which have, in so many respects, revolutionised the way we interact with the digital world and each other. I've never given into the slavish worshiping of their design - both the iPhone 4 and 5 fail in my opinion on a number of fronts - not least their ability to scratch and break during normal use but, when it comes to my iPad it has become a constant companion. As a marketer I take an interest in how they talk about their products and their brand and usually it is the former which gets the focus in a very utilitarian, functional way which nonetheless works in communicating the Apple brand values. So it has been very interesting to see them flipping this approach with their latest TV and print campaign. Although their products can be seen they are fleeting and the emphasis is overwhelmingly on their philosophy and vision.
It is a clever approach at a time when the brand needs to put some clear water between it and the competition, especially Samsung. The marketplace has become cluttered with competitors who are now delivering some exceptional products and they need to defend and justify their price points, erase the memories of tax avoidance and continue to push Californian design as opposed to Chinese manufacturing.
It does all of this but at what cost ? It probably plays well internally, what's not to love if you are an employee, this is a feel good message - your daily work is almost deified but what about the consumer ? After a few viewings it feels self-indulgent - potentially objectifing products which are, after all, consumer tech which needs to be replaced on a regular basis if it is to remain relevant to the needs of the customer.
As a campaign it has luxurious cues but I'm not sure that's what Apple needs. I want to love this campaign but my head keeps over ruling my heart. We shall see.