Apple steps up iPad 2 campaign to push functionality over hardware specifications

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple has started airing a new spot promoting iPad 2 as a collection of "delightful, even magical" integrated functions rather than just a device with various hardware specifications.



The new ad continues the series of iPad commercials that have focused on its capabilities, with little if any mention of its hardware specifications. However, the new ad strikes a new sentimental tone portraying the device as being natural and intuitive to the point where the underlying technology vanishes.



"This is what we believe," the new spot says. "Technology alone is not enough. Faster, thinner, lighter; those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical. That's when you leap forward. That's when you end up with something like this," fading to "iPad 2" in titles.



Apple coyly refused to address some technical specifications of iPad 2 at its release (including the amount of system RAM), focusing instead upon its features, including two new first party apps, iMovie and Garage Band, that take full advantage of iPad hardware without any discussion of what it is they are taking advantage of.



Apple prefers to focus on the functionality of iPad and its other unique features (including the hard to duplicate library of 65,000 iPad-optimized titles in the App Store, integration with iTunes, and its iBooks Store) because these are all aspects that competitors will be unable to match in the next few years.



Competitors, including RIM's forthcoming Playbook, Android licensees' new 3.0 Honeycomb tablets, and HP's new TouchPad will have less trouble matching or even exceeding the technical specifications of iPad 2.



Samsung recently announced that its newest batch of Galaxy Tab devices would be slightly thinner and lighter than the iPad (although critics complained that even the non-functional prototypes aren't actually thinner), while Motorola advertised its Xoom tablet as having twice as much RAM (although that extra RAM doesn't appear to make it faster at browsing or most other tasks, and doesn't make up for Android 3.0's 20-something apps compared to iPad's more than 65,000).



By working hard to keep a focus on functionality and user experience rather than just hardware specifications, physical dimensions and pricing, Apple makes its tightly "curated" integration a key differentiation, the same aspect the company pushed in its Get a Mac campaign that contrasted a positive, simple Mac experience to the frustrating, troublesome problems PC users face.



Apple largely lost that message in the 90s when it allowed third party PC makers to equate their product experience to Macs while focusing on CPU speed, RAM, disk storage, and price, the same thing Android and Windows Mobile licensees are promoting today among mobile devices.



Apple's new spot appears on YouTube and is embedded below.



«13456710

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 200
    imoanimoan Posts: 56member
    Apple should focus attention away from hardware, especially since they released an iPad 2 that was little more than a speed bump with a substandard camera and no retina display.
  • Reply 2 of 200
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    I think that's a smart ad. It has a warmer tone then the usual sprightly song and shots of people doing stuff, and actually talks directly to Apple's overarching design philosophy, which I haven't seen them do for a while.



    This might be a good time to run an entire campaign around this concept, pushing Apple's humanizing touch. Particularly in the face of Android licensee's tendency to go with murderous robots and spaceships and hallucinogenic trances Apple could go out of their way to position themselves as the "gather the family 'round" company.
  • Reply 3 of 200
    sennensennen Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMoan View Post


    Apple should focus attention away from hardware, especially since they released an iPad 2 that was little more than a speed bump with a substandard camera and no retina display.



    You certainly do moan.
  • Reply 4 of 200
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    As far as hardware specs are concerned, Apple may be hobbled in some ways be not being able to obtain a sufficient number of components when it needs 30 million or so units manufactured. Maybe Apple couldn't obtain enough 5 MP cameras to go in all of it's iPads or if rumors are true, maybe Apple will have enough for the iPad 3 if it comes out in 2011. I really don't see how other tablet vendors are going "easily" outspec the iPad without costing more. I also believe that Apple focuses on features that are most important to users. It's true that it might be nice to have more powerful cameras in both the iPad and iPod Touch, but maybe not all that many consumers are concerned about that. I'll admit I'm clueless about why Apple cuts corners on certain features, but I figure it has to tie in with profit margins. As an Apple shareholder, I'll go along with what they decide as long as the share price increases.
  • Reply 5 of 200
    I like the original iPad ads better. This one takes on a decidedly self-conscious tone, something that Apple doesn't need to do when they are selling out of these things daily.



    Sent from my iPad 2
  • Reply 6 of 200
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Let's examine the difference in marketing between this iPad 2 ad and the the Motorola Xoom ads which have constantly been running on my cable tv channels, and which I've unfortunately seen too many times. I've seen more Xoom ads than I've seen iPad ads on tv lately. Motorola is really trying to push the Xoom in what seems like a desperate effort.



    The market for the iPad 2 is kids, teenagers, mothers, fathers, doctors, professionals, artists, senior citizens, grandmothers, grandfathers, businesses and everybody else in between. The iPad 2 is basically for everybody, young and old, male or female and the ads only reinforce that.



    The Xoom ads are targeted towards one main group- ignorant, geeky, teenage males who might be impressed by a dumb looking spaceship.



    That's quite a contrast in different marketing styles between the two companies. The competition to Apple doesn't understand tablets and they don't understand ads either.
  • Reply 7 of 200
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMoan View Post


    Apple should focus attention away from hardware, especially since they released an iPad 2 that was little more than a speed bump with a substandard camera and no retina display.



    Amazing! Apple?s 1st iPad barely slower than the Tegra 2 Xoom that came out his year and the iPad 2 so far ahead now that their competition has to go back to the drawing board and you?re focusing on a high pixel camera on a tablet and a ?retina display? which wasn?t just a rumor but a technical impossibility given the known logistical and technical issues.



    Yeah, but to each their own. You just wait for that CGI ad of an Android tablet transforming or some robot interacting with it, or just wait and read a spec sheet that





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I think that's a smart ad. It has a warmer tone then the usual sprightly song and shots of people doing stuff, and actually talks directly to Apple's overarching design philosophy, which I haven't seen them do for a while.



    This might be a good time to run an entire campaign around this concept, pushing Apple's humanizing touch. Particularly in the face of Android licensee's tendency to go with murderous robots and spaceships and hallucinogenic trances Apple could go out of their way to position themselves as the "gather the family 'round" company.



    I hope they do. This ad is brilliant.
  • Reply 8 of 200
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I think that's a smart ad. It has a warmer tone then the usual sprightly song and shots of people doing stuff, and actually talks directly to Apple's overarching design philosophy, which I haven't seen them do for a while.



    This might be a good time to run an entire campaign around this concept, pushing Apple's humanizing touch. Particularly in the face of Android licensee's tendency to go with murderous robots and spaceships and hallucinogenic trances Apple could go out of their way to position themselves as the "gather the family 'round" company.



    This is a brilliant ad by Apple. The format is long overdue. I really enjoyed the "Get a Mac" ads, but what I always felt they lacked was the simple demonstration of what people can do with Macs (i.e., everything they do with PCs, only without the headaches). I think once Lion arrives, and makes the user experience of Macs that much more similar to that of iPads, this ad campaign will expand to include iMac and MacBook spots.
  • Reply 9 of 200
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    Brilliant campaign, nice ad. Availability has been the issue for a while now. I still haven't received mine after 3 weeks of placing the order.
  • Reply 10 of 200
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    You can pinch to zoom on video now? How?



    Classy ad btw.
  • Reply 11 of 200
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    Hehehe - some people are so Naive!



    The ad: "Faster, thinner, lighter. These are all good…"



    Somehow, in an ad that downplays these items they somehow manage to make the point right up front. So they get to push their new specs (qualitatively) while leaving the impression that this is not what they are doing.



    Essentially, they are saving their cake while eating it too!



    Brilliant!!
  • Reply 12 of 200
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    I like the original iPad ads better. This one takes on a decidedly self-conscious tone, something that Apple doesn't need to do when they are selling out of these things daily.



    Sent from my iPad 2



    The end part should say:



    iPad 2

    (if you can get one)
  • Reply 13 of 200
    recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    Hehehe - some people are so Naive!



    The ad: "Faster, thinner, lighter. These are all good?"



    Somehow, in an ad that downplays these items they somehow manage to make the point right up front. So they get to push their new specs (qualitatively) while leaving the impression that this is not what they are doing.



    Essentially, they are saving their cake while eating it too!



    Brilliant!!



    Yep. They managed to brag without obviously bragging. This ad seems like Steve Jobs directed it himself (which isn't true, but it's indicative of a company that is staying on message from the top down).



    It's a good ad. If it doesn't speak to nerds, that usually means it's a good ad. If it plays on positive emotions, that also usually means it's a good ad. Remember Nike's Instant Karma spot?



    It's also the first ad I've seen from apple in a long while that comes close to bringing back the feelings of passion and inspiration that was part of the think different ads. It's definitely a "reminding you of who we are" spot.
  • Reply 14 of 200
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I have no problem with the way Apple has been focusing it's ads. The ads do their job well, the problem is when they start playing games with the spec sheet. It really isn't acceptable that Apple hides basic info like RAM installed in a device. Spec sheets have little to do with marketing so to me Apple is being less than honest.



    As to the article and the reference to the nineties I think the author is way off base. The sad reality was the PPC hardware sucked and sucked really bad. You can't ignore performance when the delta becomes a massive gap. Did someone forget about the huge jump in performance when the Intel machines came out? However this was only a small part of Apples issues in the nineties. In the end we are dealing with a new company now, well reborned. Back then PC companies didn't even bother to market against Apple, much of the specmanship was directed at other PC companies. Today Apple is often selling bleeding edge performance in their laptops, it has been a very long time since Apple has been a hardware technology leader.
  • Reply 15 of 200
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMoan View Post


    Apple should focus attention away from hardware, especially since they released an iPad 2 that was little more than a speed bump with a substandard camera and no retina display.



    Spoken like someone who doesn't own an iPad 2



    The differences may be small in specs, but the difference in experience is huge!



    Sent from my iPad 2
  • Reply 16 of 200
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,604member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMoan View Post


    Apple should focus attention away from hardware, especially since they released an iPad 2 that was little more than a speed bump with a substandard camera and no retina display.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    You certainly do moan.



    Actually, he should change his screen ID to "iWhine"
  • Reply 17 of 200
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    This is really nice ad.
  • Reply 18 of 200
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,472moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I think that's a smart ad. It has a warmer tone then the usual sprightly song and shots of people doing stuff, and actually talks directly to Apple's overarching design philosophy, which I haven't seen them do for a while.



    It's better than their 'nyah, nyah, you don't have an iPhone' ad anyway:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV2__tmrEbM



    Too condescending IMO and people do have that functionality on other devices.



    I'd say the iPad one is a bit better but it didn't really have much of an impact because it didn't say clearly why it was better than anyone else or the old one.



    Consumers likely don't need to look at heart rate monitors or brain scans and the drawing inside the number 2 isn't really magical. Garageband is magical, being able to edit movies is powerful, being able to hook up 1080p games to a HDTV is a great feature and not mentioned, having better viewing angles than the Xoom means not only good for reading but better for reading.



    I guess when you have no competition your ads can be complacent but what happens next year? They come along with iPad 3:



    Apple: Look, iPad 3 is still just as magical you don't need to know what's inside

    Consumer: Ok, it looks like it does the same as iPad 1, which is cheaper so I'll have one of those

    Apple: Oh no wait, it has faster graphics, a higher resolution screen, more RAM

    Consumer: Well why didn't you say that in the first place?
  • Reply 19 of 200
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I have no problem with the way Apple has been focusing it's ads. The ads do their job well, the problem is when they start playing games with the spec sheet. It really isn't acceptable that Apple hides basic info like RAM installed in a device. Spec sheets have little to do with marketing so to me Apple is being less than honest.



    The message is that the real value in the iPad 2 is that it is more than a bag of parts. It's the whole shebang: from parts to software to network services, all working together to do something amazing for the person using it. Component makers have conditioned people into thinking of the value of their PCs as if it were the value of the parts inside; Intel, ATI, and nVidia pay to put their stickers on new PCs to remind people of what's in their PCs. It's been going on for decades. With the iPad, Apple is going back to fundamentals and saying that what matters to people who aren't conditioned to think in terms of "Intel Inside" are what the iPad can do for them.
  • Reply 20 of 200
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Actually, he should change his screen ID to "iWhine"



    Believe it or not, but there is plenty of stock in Prov. R.I.



    I checked it out today. If you own a first gen, you may not need to upgrade. It feels better, lighter in your hands. However, if you already own the first one, you may not notice an "upgrade".
Sign In or Register to comment.