Has Apple lost its marketing mojo to Google?
Before you say anything, please just watch these two videos. They're only one-minute long, and you'll thank me after.
They're creatively themed, have awesome music, and are to-the-point. If it weren't for the "Nexus" bit at the end, you could mistake this for an Apple ad...or at least, what used to be an Apple ad.
Because recently, Apple ads have, frankly, become terrible. I think it all started with the celebrity Siri ads, in one of which Zooey Deschanel asked Siri "Is that rain?" instead, you know, of stepping outside the bathroom to find out.
Not only was it ridiculous, it also broke with Apple's tradition of not having celebrity ads (to convey that its products are made for normal people). But it was somewhat excusable, because it was still cute. And then, this happened:
Yeah, the marketing disaster also known as the 2012 Olympic Mac ads (in which Apple insulted its users, and which it subsequently pulled). So bad that even the usually-editorially-neutral The Verge had to call it out.
Fast forward a few months, and Apple thankfully seems to have spared its new iPad mini TV spots. In fact, it seems Apple spared them too much, because they're a bit bland. For example:
It's not creative, it's not interesting (two iPads side by side for 30 seconds), and even though it does convey its message clearly ("You can run any iPad app on the iPad mini!"), it's not "human"; there's just no emotional hook that Apple ads usually deliver.
This ad, released a day ago, was praised by many Apple fans and even got to the top of Techmeme:
But honestly, it's still pretty average. It's just a girl singing for 30 seconds while an old man watches awkwardly, and any emotional hook that could have been obtained is shatted by the girl's shrill voice.
Contrast that with this TV spot for the Nexus 4:
It's funny (we can all relate to that guy), it's creative (nice use of Google Now), and it is subtle (ex: how the background music, which is awesome by the way, grows louder at the end).
I really hate when people say "Steve Jobs would have never let this happen" (see MobileMe, Ping, iPhone 4, etc.). But to be honest, this actually is something that Steve Jobs would have never let happen. Come on, you guys all know how passionate he was about "human" commercials.
What happened to this?:
I still get frisson every time I watch those. And now those feelings have been passed on to Google ads. Seriously, little girl (in the "Nexus 7: Curious" ad) is too cute! xD