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The Apple Infomercial, is it time?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've noticed something recently, infomercials seem to be a very cost effective way for companies to sell everything from fitness equipment to stereos to computers.

In Canada, MDG, a small but agressive box builder works very hard to put decent bundles onto the shopping network. Could Apple build an infomercial around 1,2, or 3 featured products and use that as a way to simultaneously advertise, educate, evangelize, and of course, SELL.

The off peak costs of airtime are cheap enough that this might be better than straight 30sec spots.

Use an iMac/iBook and iPod. Offer a bundle with some cheapo throw away printer/scanner, demonstrate easy to use iApps, perhaps throw in one of those "order now and get whatever at no extra cost!" Perhaps extra RAM, perhaps free Applecare. Something to really hit the switchers. They could have a keynote every night.

just a thought

discuss...
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post #2 of 23
Don't you remember those awful Performa Infomercials they used to do? The one with the family who used the Performa to go online with eWorld/AOL (they had both for some strange reason), played those interactive CD-ROM books, advertised CD-ROM encyclopedias, and played games that were old, even back then?

It just seemed so cheesy. I doubt they will ever do that again.
post #3 of 23
I don't know if that will happen. If people even see a good infomercial, there will still be that lingering though "well is it compatible with [fill in program] that I use", and unless the people whom they're calling to place an order with can easily and definitively answer that, I don't see people making a gut call on buying a new computer based on an infomercial.

Given that, I thought that maybe partnering with one of the TV shopping channels like QVC could be good, maybe do a Today's Special Value to get 3-4 hours in a day with which they can show OS X, iApps, etc... but the same problem occurs, if they get some rep to promote the mac, and then can't properly field questions from callers making that "last minute check" on some issue, it'll be bad PR.
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post #4 of 23
When I think about Apple, I think about how they have style that PC makers could only dream of. To me, infomercials do not have any style what-so-ever ("Wow, look at that!" or "But that's not all...").
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post #5 of 23
[quote]Originally posted by MCQ:
<strong>Given that, I thought that maybe partnering with one of the TV shopping channels like QVC could be good, maybe do a Today's Special Value to get 3-4 hours in a day with which they can show OS X, iApps, etc... but the same problem occurs, if they get some rep to promote the mac, and then can't properly field questions from callers making that "last minute check" on some issue, it'll be bad PR.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Working for a company that has a product line-up frequently featured as "Today's Special Value" on QVC, I know first-hand that if showcased properly, MILLIONS of units can be sold on QVC as a featured item.
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, mebbe not an infomercial, but how much could it really cost to train a handlful of charismatic people to represent Apple on various "Home Shopping" type channels. People are buying computers based on home shopping spots and the concerns about compatibility will always remain, regardless of venue. I don't think this venue, actually, is one of well thought out purchases, it seems to be more about reaching into a potential customers home and generating an impulse buy. If Apple took their consumer machines, dropped the price a little more, added in a nice bonus periph or two and "free" Applecare they could probably generate a few impulse buys while doing a lot of coincedental advertising/educating.

I didn't know about the performa infomercials, they sound pretty bad, but a new Apple home-shoppoing spot could look pretty good with a very knowledgable and charismatic rep perhaps ripping some music from a CD (OR, ordering it from Apple's new online service ??) then adding it into some footage from a DV camera and perhaps a few stills. All yours at a lower than advertised price, with a free printer/scanner, and some sort of instalment based easy pay plan.

It's all about generating an impulse buy, though admittedly for a product that shouldn't ever be bought on impulse.
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post #7 of 23
The reason I said QVC is because they seem to be a bit more upscale perhaps in demographic tarket market than HSN in the US, and also because I just say a Today's Special Value featured yesterday for an HP Computer (2.53 P4, 80GB, 512 DDR, DVD+RW, wireless mouse/keyboard). It was priced at $1888 for the version with the 17" Flat Panel, and that included a 3 year warranty. Now, if Apple were to sell the 17" iMac, even with AppleCare at standard pricing, it would be $1969, not too much off for a reasonably comparable system (not considering the processor difference and the wireless keyboard/mouse) to the HP w/17" flat panel.

If they were to offer the 17" iMac with a 3 year warranty at say $1850, I think it would have the potential to sell well, especially if they showcase an iPod and price it at a discount, say $279/$369/$459. The only problem would be if Apple could produce enough to supply such an event, since those today's special values do have a tendency to sell a huge number of units in an extremely short time span.
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post #8 of 23
I'm glad someone mentioned PRICE, as I was about to. Yep, you'd have to pretty much limit your QVC/HSN offering to iMacs and iBooks and maybe a low-range tower or PowerBook to compete with the PC offering. Personally I do not think Apple would ever go this far at all -- right now they have the most innovative hardware and software, but they don't have what the average "not exactly a genius" consumer wants, which is the biggest possible "hertz number," RAM, etc. The dumb consumer, unbelievably, wants the best. In that context, the iBook and iMac are indeed the best at what they have to offer to their target market (ESPECIALLY the iBook).
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post #9 of 23
Forget infomercials, I'd be happy with print.

Almost every week I pick up the paper with an IBM or Dell catalog inside, but never Apple.

Note to Cupertino (or Markham): You have your own online store! You have an army of graphic artists using Macs. How hard can it be to put a catalog in the paper showcasing Macs once a month and on the back page sell space to MacWarehouse, Carbon Computing, CPUsed and the other local resellers?

How are people going to switch if Apple doesn't show them the options? Apple wants to be the "Sony of Silicon Valley". Fine. You can walk into a Future Shop or Best Buy and pick up the latest Sony catalog.

If a newbie wants to know what Apple's selling, Apple's answer is to check out the website. How does this help someone who doesn't have a computer? <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[oyvey]" />

I think an Apple Catalog, with elegant page spreads on iLife, Education and Small Business, is the key to getting at the next round of Switchers.
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post #10 of 23
[quote]Originally posted by Frank777:
<strong>I think an Apple Catalog, with elegant page spreads on iLife, Education and Small Business, is the key to getting at the next round of Switchers.</strong><hr></blockquote>

on my campus we have a "mac demo station" that has many small booklets, one for each line of mac. there is also a cube and a Rev. A TiBook that anyone can use...
AND A MAC OS X DEMO CD THAT RUNS ON WINDOWS AND MAC OS 9!!!

THESE NEED TO BE DISTRIBUTED MORE!!!

I try my best to give them to people, but that station is always empty....
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post #11 of 23
Quick takes on this...

1. Infomercial with Ron Jeremy demonstrating how easy it is to make you own homegrown porn in iMovie...scrap that.

2. QVC. Have Steve Jobs...No Phil Shiller showing all the cool stuff one can do with the iMac or iBook/iPod...Ok, that could work. Throw in the iPod/RAM/Printer deals.

3. The Style Network. Have supermodels jet setting around the world with their iBooks and iPods...well, at least it'll look cool and sexy... <img src="graemlins/cancer.gif" border="0" alt="[cancer]" />

I thought Hollywood/TV was Apple's infomercial... <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
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post #12 of 23
has anyone seen the windows xp informercials on techtv? god they suck, I say run a big print campaign in markets where there are apple stores, with a listing of events to show people on imovie. Maybe a one column story of a switcher story or a tutorial/story of how someone's life was made easy.
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post #13 of 23
[quote]Originally posted by Frank777:
<strong>Forget infomercials, I'd be happy with print.

...How hard can it be to put a catalog in the paper showcasing Macs once a month and on the back page sell space to MacWarehouse, Carbon Computing, CPUsed and the other local resellers?

I think an Apple Catalog, with elegant page spreads on iLife, Education and Small Business, is the key to getting at the next round of Switchers.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Here, here!...I know when I receive a catalog from MacWarehouse, I go through it pretty throughly. If Apple sponsored a monthly catalog, I'm sure I'd do the same. Every weekend I find a Dell catalog stuffed inside my weekend paper. Surely this is not a major investment for Apple to undertake.
BTW, MDG in Canada has got to have the ugliest boxes and advertising around.
post #14 of 23
OOPS

[ 03-10-2003: Message edited by: Jared ]</p>
post #15 of 23
Only if Apple gets the OXYCLEAN guy to do it...
post #16 of 23
I like the JUICE guy from Requiem also
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post #17 of 23
Only if they introduce the Apple Food Dehydrator.
post #18 of 23
or the Apple FRUIT ****ER 2000!
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Artman @_@:
<strong>
I thought Hollywood/TV was Apple's infomercial... :confused: </strong><hr></blockquote>

I'm not sure this is true. People see a mac on a show and it's either lost in the background, or they won't have any reason to investigate it further. It seems more like like something that pleases mac users than something that reaches outside the ranks of the faithful.

Also, I dunno if it has to do with corporate sponsorship, or commercial issues, or Apple not wanting to pay for product placement, but we're starting to see a good many macs in films/TV/commmercials with the Apple logo covered. The aesthetics are still prized, but Hollywood and TV are not so keen on giving away free publicity anymore, it seems. Apple's gonna have to start paying like everyone else.
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post #20 of 23
Apple actually did run an infomercial on QVC in Germany. Unfortunately, they showcased the 17"-iMac only which at that time was pretty expensive.

I guess they didn't sell too much of these because they don't sell them any longer.

I think Apple's target group can not be reaches with infomercials and home shopping networks. They mainly sell cheap stuff at relatively high prices, have a bigger-faster-more-is-better attitude and lack any competence what so ever.

[ 03-11-2003: Message edited by: RolandG ]</p>
post #21 of 23
I always thought Apple could really benefit from an infomercial, if done right. It's not enough for pc users to just see a cute or artsy Apple ad. They need to be educated about Apple and even seduced if you will. I think something along the lines of a Bose informercial. Stay away from the Ron Popeil type ad.
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post #22 of 23
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>Don't you remember those awful Performa Infomercials they used to do? The one with the family who used the Performa to go online with eWorld/AOL (they had both for some strange reason), played those interactive CD-ROM books, advertised CD-ROM encyclopedias, and played games that were old, even back then?

It just seemed so cheesy. I doubt they will ever do that again.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I heard that one was actually fairly successful. I don't know why they don't do another. It may seem cheezy to us but that was not targeted at users like us. It was targeted at people who did not have a computer so it was very simple. Also, it was a rather shotgun approach. There was something for everyone; Grandpa, son, daughter, wife husband.

If they did one today it would more likely be aimed at switchers.
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post #23 of 23

How about a dedicated Apple TV channel? News, Product Guides and Reviews, Tutorials and Training Sessions, Live Keynotes, license independently produced shows such as MacBreak Weekly.

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