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Apple’s latest ads are fuel for fan wars

Apple has put out two new ads for its iPhone, one focusing on how its hardware and software are made for each other, and one explaining how much iPhone owners love their iPhones. Where most of Apple's recent iPhone ads have sold new customers on the iPhone by focusing on specific cases where its features can be used — its camera used for capturing touching family get-togethers, for example — these two rather lame ads seem designed to offer ammunition to Apple fans who already have iPhones.

The ads speak only to the general capabilities of the devices, but both try their best to distinguish Apple's product against a market of devices often accused of copying it. "Unlike most smartphones," the Hardware & Software ad's voiceover intones, "we design the hardware part, and the software part." The other ad, titled Loved, aims to make the differences between smartphones clear. The tagline — "if it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone" — seems to battle against the commodification of the word, where "an iPhone" can be used by the less tech-savvy to describe all smartphones as "Game Boy" came to mean all handheld video game devices in the '90s and "a Kleenex" is now shorthand for a tissue.

"This is an iPhone," the ad states, as if we didn't already know, before stressing that Apple's smartphone "comes with something different." But where you may expect the company to follow the statement with some new technological advance, instead, it notes that the iPhone has a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate. Customer satisfaction might not be the expected angle for a smartphone ad, but it's one Apple CEO Tim Cook has pushed before. Earlier this year at Apple's Spring Ahead event, Cook emphasized the same figure on stage when talking about the feedback for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.