Apple: "make us a commercial"
Just makes sense to me.
1. Apple's current commercials/marketing leave MUCH to be desired. That's just true (see bold type at end of post for clarification and to decide if you really want to participate...).
2. Apple has the most loyal, passionate (some would say pathological and obsessive) users and fans. That's true too (and I'm proud of it).
3. Many of #2 above are creative types, in the fields of writing, video production, design, music, etc. Once again, so true.
Add items 1-3 up and you come to a pretty simple conclusion: Apple should indeed have a contest.
The rules would stipulate that only Macs and Apple software could be used (duh), but what a cool showcase for Macs, FCP, iMovie, Soundtrack, etc.! Not to mention the writing, design and directing of some really talented people.
The winner - depending on quality of his submission - either gets that one played or, if necessary, Apple foots the bill to re-shoot the concept if the original submission is lacking in decent lighting, sound, etc. (for example, if someone wrote just a killer concept or tagline or overall feel, but they're coming at it from more of a writing/concept standpoint and they're not video pros and just kinda threw something together in iMovie...if it was powerful enough and Apple liked the overall idea/thinking, reshoot it with professional results. There would be some sort of allowance for that).
It's mostly the idea we're going for, but I'd imagine that there are enough pro, qualified Mac heads out there working in the video/marketing field that they could probably pull off a professional-level, commercial quality project.
The winner gets his commercial selected, gets his/her 15 minutes in the spotlight and wins a new Mac system of their choice (yeah, yeah...dual 2GHz G5 and 23" Cinema Display...I know).
Runners up (or, say, the top 20-25 submissions) get their own little spot on Apple's site (like the Switchers had for a while) to showcase their good, creative work also.
Everyone wins: Apple gets a commercial worthy of their products and reputation, an unknown - but talented - person or group gets to pour their passion into project, Apple gets some note in the press for the entire concept, people end up with Apple gear, new talent is showcased, Apple hardware and software is given front-and-center spotlight to show what it's capable of (there could be a quick little text blurb at the end of the spot that says something to the effect of "this commercial was created with..." to drive that point further home).
Most consumers and potential switchers might be very impressed with the fact that "you mean that cool commercial they just played was done with stuff I can go buy today, at the mall?"
Personally, I don't see a downside to it. One of those "everyone wins and gets a little something for the effort" deals.
Apple isn't going to put some crappy, cheesy thing on (well, no worse than their own stuff they've been running), so why not? As I've said before, we routinely toss around more good ideas and concepts here, just goofing off, than most of us have seen in real Apple ads.
Hell, you could even have a series, broken down into different categories: OS X, the hardware, iApps, music/iPod, general Apple "lifestyle vibe", etc.
For those of you who genuinely and sincerely believe that Apple's current ads and marketing are truly all they can be and "as good as it gets" and have no room for improvement, spare us all and don't participate in this thread...because you're obviously delusional. Not to mention completely dead wrong. Please don't clutter up my thread with "yeah, but at least..." silliness.
If a car company, electronics firm or fast-food chain ran spots as vague and ineffective as Apple's, you'd rightly be among the many dinging them for it. Don't continue giving Apple a pass, just because it's Apple. You'll only encourage them. They can do better. We all know it.