Apple's new ads are basically Genius

Only in a world where one company has established a reputation not only for ground-breaking gadgets, but also the ads that promote them, can we legitimately write a tech post about Apple’s new ads.

These aren’t just the latest ads promoting the new iPad or iCloud or the new MacBook Pro. Those ads have a very Apple-esque feel and are precisely what we’ve come to expect from Apple’s agency ever since they put the wonderful Mac vs. PC campaign to bed a few years ago.

The ads I’m referring to are the brand-new “Genius” ads just launched in the U.S. and man do they ever live up to Apple’s once heavily promoted motto “Think Different.”

As the name suggests, these ads centre around the Apple Genius – the guy or gal at the back of every Apple store, clad in a blue t-shirt and sporting a distinctive silver doodad on a lanyard around their neck. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that these “geniuses” are the people you go to when you have an Apple-related question, no matter how big or small.

Perhaps in an attempt to talk to those of us who have indeed been living under rocks, Apple’s new campaign tries to impart a personality to the otherwise nameless geniuses that staff their stores. But does it work?

It’s hard to say. The campaign has kicked off with three new spots. The ads are funny, but not in the laugh-out-loud way that Mac vs. PC tended to be. The actor cast as the Genius is likeable – you can almost see the briefing to the casting director: “Find us Matthew Broderick.” Watching all three spots you can clearly catch glimpses of the famous actor from his roles in 1980s era classics Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, War Games and LadyHawke.

And yet, you kind of get the feeling that the ads are trying too hard. Ken Segall, in his Observatory blog describes the campaign as “[…]something Best Buy would do. Maybe even Dell. Between the writing, casting, directing and production, this campaign has a very “local” feel to it. It doesn’t have the feel of quality that has defined previous Apple advertising.”

Readers, what do you think? Has Apple kept up its reputation for top-notch advertising, or is this latest campaign a mistake the company should quietly (but quickly) walk away from?

Update, August 7: Apparently Apple has pulled the Genius TV ads. Though their agency,  TBWA/Media/Arts Lab claims the plan was always to give the ads a short run, clearly the overwhelming negative perception surrounding the spots was a big influence on their decision.



  1. Gordon

    Dumb Apple ads! If their products and services are so great for the end-user, why do they need to offer assistance to use Apple crap? Apple is a total rip-off artist!!!!!


  2. Jon

    They seem to imply that Apple is the only software provider out there. The ads are obviously aimed at the their users ahead of the next marginally better iphone than the current version which will be, as usual available for an obscene price. The ads seem more likely driven from dispair as the Android assault continues to outsell the iphone and will most likely further dilute their market share within the next 24 months.

    Apple have still not learned since their early Mac days that charging way more for a Mac than a pc for does not make it a better product. Ultimately arrogance is the thing that brings everyone down.

    China is full of iphone knock offs and this will continue to grow so it is unlikely they will make any significant gain in sales from their Chinese market venture. The Chineses people are very smart and will not be influenced like the western world. Their stance will more likely be “what does it do that we can’t get here already with a different badge and a way less sticker price”. They will need more than the present sue them all approach to business rivalry presently adopted by them to suceed in the Chinese market.

    The ad concerning the people using electronics after the “stow the electronics announcement” is plain irresponsible.

    The software one is just Apples beleief that they are the only ones with saftware in their devices.

    The first one is funny and most likely the first thought that would pop into an Apple users mind – just joking.