'Designed by Apple in California' ad ranks poorly in consumer survey



  • Reply 41 of 268

    I hope the survey results send a wakeup call to Phil Schiller. The commercials are beautifully produced, of course. But they don't say anything. They don't have an edge. Steve Jobs turned down similar campaigns saying they look like Visa commercials. People don't care where it was designed. They want to know what the products will do for them, and why they're worth the price.


    The campaign will die a natural death. An advertising campaign is only as good as the client. Hopefully Phil, Tim and the others realize they're talking to themselves.

  • Reply 42 of 268
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,716member


    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

    Too subtle.


    They could have saved 55 seconds by saying: "Apple is American and Samsung is a bunch of Korean crooks."  This line should be delivered by Clint Eastwood, Glenn Beck, Ted Nugent or a Charleton Heston impersonator.  It would be much more to the point.

    It certainly would have caught people's attention and caused controversy. image The new red neck ultra right wing Apple. Not sure it would have done sales a whole lot of good.

  • Reply 43 of 268
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    bigmc6000 wrote: »
    Well, duh, of course it did.  There are 49 other states in the Union and most of them have a negative view of California. I'm glad they are so proud to be from California but it rankles me just as much as those people saying Texas should secede.  Apple is what Apple is because of their hiring practices which includes ALL of the US as well as the entire world. I mean, look at Johnny Ive for crying out loud.  Apple doesn't "belong" to California and their success has nothing to do with California.  In fact, given the taxes and such Apple would most likely be a much more lucrative company if they were based elsewhere.

    I have to agree with everything but your last two sentences. There are big, hard-to-miss historical reasons why Silicon Valley happens to be in California, specifically near Palo Alto.

    You can see this easily if you read the biography, or for a cultural history, What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff. (Right, I never pass up a chance to mention that book.)

    But your point about "designed in California" being a negative to much of the rest of the country is probably true, unfortunately. Like "made in USA" to the rest of the world.

    I also have to agree with others here that the ad is too saccharine, but then we're not the target audience. It's hard to figure the psychology behind their intent on this one.
  • Reply 44 of 268

    It would certainly be an improvement. (It sounds like you channeled Steve Jobs)

  • Reply 45 of 268
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    dnd0ps wrote: »
    I think the ad lacks the poetic touch "Think Different" had. "Think Different" was poetic and inspiring. This is rather bland, Cook obviously lacks Job's linguistic flair.

    I don't know who signed off on that campaign, but I don't like it either. It's far too self-absorbed and precious. Whoever is responsible should be fired immediately. They don't really "get" Apple. Maybe this is why Apple is now trading under $400....$#%¥$!?!
  • Reply 46 of 268
    Apple's marketing team may feel a deep connection to California. But Apple fans around the world feel differently. Apple transcends geographical locations, religions, races, classes.

    To borrow a line from "Man of Steel", Apple "give the people an ideal to stride towards", work hard, take pride in your work, make the tough decisions, make something beautiful even in places people don't see, be passionate about your design. Change the world, one device at a time.
  • Reply 47 of 268

    As the Apple faithful, we of course understand the message wants to send with this, and why. But I also see it as an ad with a number of weaknesses. Firstly the "Designed by Apple in California" thing is fine on packaging, but odd to push in this manner. I'm not American, but if I were, and wasn't from California, this could sound rather arrogant and elitist. Are they implying California is better than other states? And I agree the "and it means Everything" line is equally weak. It's the kind of thing you say when you want to sound deep, but don't really have a clue how to express yourself. There are reasons why it means a lot, but they assume the viewer knows/agrees, and that's a somewhat pompous rhetorical style.


    That said, the purpose of ads isn't necessarily to be liked. In this case, it's to associate some values with the brand, and it may well have that effect then next time someone is choosing between a Galaxy and an iPhone. The metrics reported here may correlate with those behaviour overall, but can't tell us much about the actual influence of a particular ad. I agree with the bar anecdote ... there is something about the ad that draws you in.

  • Reply 48 of 268
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member


    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

    It certainly would have caught people's attention and caused controversy. image The new red neck ultra right wing Apple. Not sure it would have done sales a whole lot of good.

    Haha, you are probably right.  Sometimes I think the far left ends up with the same conclusions as the ultra right, even if they arrive there through completely different processes.  Sometimes the extremes have more in common with each other than either do with the middle.  Of course, the middle is the key to big sales volume.

  • Reply 49 of 268
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    It's the last two words that throw off people who've spent the entire ad wondering who this mysterious "we" is.

    Try for a moment to recall anything "designed in California" in recent decades that impresses. Only a handful of states have worse public schools. The prisons are so crowded, a court has ordered criminals released onto the streets. Taxes are high. Government budgets are out of control. To please construction unions, the state is spending billions on a train to nowhere that'll never be finished. Businesses are fleeing. Even Apple is moving much of its employment out of state.

    About the only things that's great about today's California are things that the state can't wreck, particularly the climate and the beaches. That's perhaps why the next version of OS X will be named for a surfing beach. But we can be certain the even Apple not insane enough to name a version after Sacramento, the state's capital and the home of the politicians who are the source of many of the state's many ills.

    Nero is said to have fiddled while Rome burned. Apple's executives would rather go surfing and pretend all is well and that "designed in California" remains a mark of distinction.

  • Reply 50 of 268
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Probably just me, but the thing that was a bit jarring to me is that the images and feelings Apple was trying to generate in the commercial is pretty much the exact opposite of what I think when I think California. I might associate those things specifically with the San Fran Bay area (which obviously is where Apple is located), but I wouldn't associate it with California in general.
  • Reply 51 of 268
    Geez, everybody is jumping on the hate bandwagon. The ad sucks, but the campaign doesn't. They just have to make a better ad. This really isn't a science. It's really easy for those of us whose opinions face no consequences to talk about what's right or wrong, but it's extremely hard to have an idea that is placed under maybe the biggest microscope in the entire corporate world, which is what Apple is constantly under.

    I'm convinced there isn't a company that could have faced this sort of scrutiny over the last two years and held up as well as Apple has. It's hard being Apple.
  • Reply 52 of 268
    cyniccynic Posts: 124member

    If there is any accuracy to this report, I have to honestly say that I'm not finding this surprising.


    While the new ad does have a certain nice touch and perhaps even some sophistication to it, it is also simply boring, cheesy and longish on top of that. As an Apple fan and someone who has probably seen every single Apple ad and someone who has repeatedly watched all Get A Mac ads, I have to admit that I am not the least inclined to watch this recent ad a second time. There is nothing happening and it's just too long.


    In addition, it lacks emotion and the classic Apple touch, their ads have always portrayed. I'm not talking specifically about the Think Different campaign, but about ads such as for their Mac lineup, for iPhone and recently for iPad Mini. The piano one was just genius. It was short, it was to the point and after less than a second everyone knew what it was about. The current ad doesn't transmit any such feelings or positive emotions and associations.


    Also, unlike certain inspiring clips from Apple, such as the 10 minute video, which apparently didn't make it into the WWDC keynote, it also lacks any kind of inspiration. It doesn't show how this technology is able to change the world. It doesn't show any great things you can do with it or why this product matters in the big picture. It shows people using products in every day situations. This is something most of us do and therefore I'm finding it tedious and uninspiring to watch others do nothing special for as long as a minute in slow motion.


    Apart from the ad campaign, I also dislike the new California focus. Yes, the print "Designed by Apple in California" was fantastic and nice. And that's all that was needed to say. That was all fine, however, associating the future of OS X versions with "places" from California was a big mistake in my opinion. Also, because it broke yet another thing that was typical for Apple, and that was to give OS releases a meaningful theme and follow through with them.


    In fact I believe this to be the most significant mistake, because there are very few people around the world who even know what Mavericks is and yet alone care to know. However, everyone knew what Sonata was and everyone knew what Tiger was. I believe by creating this disassociation and the fact that most people can not make any relation to the product name, Apple created itself a huge problem. Also, because this message is not very believable. They got the best talent in the world working for them. Their people come from all over the US and from all over the world, just look at the various WWDC presenters and their accents.


    When looking around the web for early impressions related to Mavericks, I'm seeing more and more people referring to it as 10.9, rather then to the codename. It just doesn't flow as easily from your keyboard and neither does it from the tongue. Most people don't have a clue as to what it means and as such you see it misspelled as "Maverick" a lot. As if it wasn't bad enough already, lots of people seem to somehow associate it with Top Gun, not sure whether they're making fun or not.


    A certain momentum and impact is simply gone in my opinion and I think this is to the worse. I still remember the days where people were actually impressed by OS X and when they asked what it was and you replied "Tiger", they'd say something such as "cool" or "looks great". If you refer to OS X simply as Mavericks these days, I'm sure you get a lot of arched eyebrows and asked "what's that?". I still remember the anticipation they created during the WWDC keynote regarding the naming, including the joke about Sea Lion. Once they announced the name my first thought was "mmh", followed by "what's that anyway?". To me, this is as unimpressive as calling the next OS X, OS X 2013.

  • Reply 53 of 268
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    ireland wrote: »
    I disagree.

    I agree with your disagreement. Apple is all about being amazed and affected on a personal level every time one uses one of their objects d'art. The 'California' ad campaign looks like they're trying to suck up to politicians or something. Bugs me every time I see Apple wasting their money on a misbegotten idea these days... Who the hell is responsible for this?
  • Reply 54 of 268
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    paxman wrote: »

    Apple is at pains to tell the world how much they suffer to bring us these amazing products. I think they should back off a little. They over-do it at every new launch. The Ive style introspection gets a little formulaic if repeated too often. The trouble with such introspective ponderings is that they lack excitement. We get Apple's depth and commitment, but lets be told how awesome and thrilling the products are.
    Prior to this ad campaign how much was Apple really doing that? I don't remember any ads from 2011, 2012 or even earlier in 2013 really following this formula. Sure the two iPhone ads they released might have been on the quieter side. But they were focused on people using Apple's products. I get the sense this ad campaign is a response to the critics (wall street and others) that are essentially going after Apple for not being Samsung and not flooding the market with product every other day. Apple is basically saying they focus on a few great things that take time and that won't be changing any time soon.

    These ads might not resonate with the general public, but I'm not sure that the average joe seeing it on TV would automatically think smug or arrogant. Maybe boring. Also couldn't one argue that the products speak for themselves and Apple shouldn't have to tell us how awesome they are? And even if they did that you'd have people complaining about the ads being arrogant. Like that article on The Verge that poked fun at all the superlatives Apple used during the WWDC keynote.
  • Reply 55 of 268
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    This article is entirely useless without:

    - information on *why* they didn't like it.
    - what the criteria for testing was
    - a description of how "Ace Metrix's" system is set up

    However, personally ... I agree.

    When this ad isn't boring, it's smug, and talking about "we" without explaining until the very end who "we" is (consumer or company) is kind of a classic noob mistake. Surprised that such a prestigious firm made it.

    Not at all. The ad is not intended to sell products. It's intended to create a mindset / image around Apple that's favorable. Using 'we' is a way to draw the customer into the ad - especially upon repeated viewings.

    This isn't Apple's only ad. They advertise the iPad. They advertise the iPhone. They still even advertise the Mac (albeit not as much). The intent is the same as the "we bring good things to life" or "we don't make things, we make things better" or "better living through chemistry" ads that large companies have run in the past. GE is not going to sell a single jet engine on the basis of their image ad. But, if done properly, it allows the jet engine ads (and sales people) to be more effective. It can also have an impact on stock price.

    ruel24 wrote: »
    Apple isn't doomed, but Cook isn't the guy Apple needs right now, IMO. Apple needs vision and Cook seems to lack it. Admittedly, it's near impossible to follow a guy as charismatic as Steve Jobs. I wouldn't want to have to do that.

    I love the irony here. You accuse Cook of not having any vision - as a response to an ad that's all about his vision. Cook is a different person than Jobs and will express his vision differently. There's a new focus on highlighting the US ties (manufacturing of the Mac Pro, 'designed in CA', etc). There's an emphasis on refinement - 'we're making great products even better'. At the same time, innovation and being different remains a high level of focus (it's no coincidence that the Mac Pro is the first product that they've given a sneak preview of for ages).
  • Reply 56 of 268
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    I agree with your disagreement. Apple is all about being amazed and affected on a personal level every time one uses one of their objects d'art. The 'California' ad campaign looks like they're trying to suck up to politicians or something. Bugs me every time I see Apple wasting their money on a misbegotten idea these days... Who the hell is responsible for this?

    Your lack of understanding does not make the ads a mistake.
  • Reply 57 of 268

    It's too serious.  Let's have some fun.  It looked like a Chrysler Ad for Detroit.

  • Reply 58 of 268
    juiljuil Posts: 75member

    Apple is fine, they are scoring high on the post-test surveys of Microsoft’s ads ;¬)


    (although I’m totally making this up, I would be curious to know)



    Joking aside, this ad is a corporate ad. It’s as much an outside message as it is an inward one. It’s never going to score high on post-test surveys because it’s about values. They remind me of the recent "innovation" campaign from IBM.


    On a critical note, the two main messages that I get FROM THE VISUALS OF THE ADS, is that Apple’s products are accessible (meaning they are for everyone) and they have a positive impact on their user’s activities. But the WORDED MESSAGE doesn’t really work towards that direction precisely - the spoken/written message talks about them being focused, perfectionists, hard working, artists, proud, etc. That part of the message would have been better served by showing visuals of Apple’s people at work from various teams and work environments.

  • Reply 59 of 268
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I agree with your disagreement. Apple is all about being amazed and affected on a personal level every time one uses one of their objects d'art. The 'California' ad campaign looks like they're trying to suck up to politicians or something. Bugs me every time I see Apple wasting their money on a misbegotten idea these days... Who the hell is responsible for this?
    One would assume Phil Schiller, since he's responsible for marketing. There was a story in Bloomberg about some of the ad firms Apple works with supposedly not being happy with Schiller.

    I'm seeing these ads on TV a lot so I'd be curious to know what kind of feedback Apple or Chiat Day is getting. This doesn't seem like a small campaign so I can't see it being abandoned this quickly.
  • Reply 60 of 268
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

    Apple should evoke the thought of new, mind-blowing technology, not your grandma showing a slide-show


    You put your finger on something here that I was thinking, but couldn't put into words.  This ad is "old."


    It would fit right in, if you saw it in the 1960's, or 1970's, or discovered the print add while flipping through "Life" magazine in the later parts of the last century.  But it's been the 21st Century for a while now and if it's anything like the last two, by about 2020 all hell will break loose and things won't look anything like the last century.  That's only five years off now. 


    Apple is run by a bunch of old, white, American, men and it's starting to show I think.  The OS's and the devices are definitely 21st century, but their whole aesthetic with the advertising is not playing as well as it used to.  They need to strike out in a new direction.  I don't think they really "get" current culture at Apple anymore. 


    They changed ad companies quite a while ago now and most of the new ads are either not as good as the old ones, or successful only because they repeat the same sort of thing that worked before.  I'd like to see something just as good, but new and different instead of the "same old same old."

Sign In or Register to comment.