Apple’s longest running television advertising campaign for the Mac is about to enter year three with no sign of slowing down.
Is longevity a sign of success for the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ad campaign? What’s the real cause of the Mac’s record sales this year?
Regardless of what you think of Apple’s television advertising campaign for the Mac, one thing is for sure. More people use Macs than ever before.
Apple has substantial on air and print advertising for three major products. The Mac, via the ever present “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” television ad campaign. The iPod, via the flashy and colorful silhouette street dancing commercials.
And, more recently, a variety of clever iPhone television commercials featuring half a dozen actual product features rolled into a 30-second commercial (and a few TV ads with real world people describing their real world iPhone experiences). The Apple logo, it seems, is everywhere.
How successful are these expensive product campaigns? Very successful, judging by product sales and profitability. The Mac is selling in record numbers. The iPod commands over 70-percent of the portable music player market.
What of the iPhone? Barely six months after launch, the iPhone has become the must have product of the year. The invention of the year. Already, Safari browser use on the iPhone tops web browser usage of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform, and any other cell phone browser.
Clearly, Apple’s product advertising has been successful in getting the word out that Apple’s products work, they’re chic, snazzy, elegant, hip, and cool, all rolled into one. Product sales translate into profits.
Whatever is opposite of a vicious circle is what Apple has generated with the Mac, iPod, and iPhone ad campaigns.
Of course, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and based on the number of Mac TV ad parodies showing showing up online, Apple is being flattered by anyone and everyone with a video camera.
Thanks to iTunes and various utilities which capture YouTube videos and convert them for storage in iTunes, people now collect parodies and Apple’s “I’m a Mac” television commercials. Click Here for a look at the most recent Mac television commercials.
Is it fair to say that Apple’s television commercial campaigns are at the heart of the Mac’s resurgent success, or solely the reason for iPod’s huge market share, or totally responsible for the iPhone’s great launch? No. Advertising is but one element of marketing.
It could be argued that Apple creates a mini-Perfect Storm with each major product, bringing together the right features, the right package, the right price, and coupling those with great public relations campaigns, and a little Apple hype along the way. All the pieces fit well together, but probably pale in significance to the word of mouth advertising generated by Apple’s customers.
That worked to keep the Mac floating long after most tech prognosticators expected Apple to fold, and the Mac to die. Early adopters, Mac users, touted the benefits of the iPod, which started slowly and built up a head of steam no competitor was able to match.
The iPhone has actually been handled differently from a marketing perspective, as the iPhone’s product details were revealed many months before launch. In true Apple fashion, the iPhone had what no other similar product could boast, and hundreds of thousands of people waited in line to purchase the first units available after launch.
A similar effect is taking place in Europe, though on a slightly smaller scale. To the question of, “Do Apple’s Mac television commercials make PC users switch?” The answer is an obvious “yes” though switching from a Windows PC to a Mac is predicated on much more than a series of clever television commercials.
It’s that whole package again. Intel processors. The ability to run Windows XP or Vista (or Linux) acts as a great security blanket that seldom gets used. Tens of millions of Windows PC users bought the iPod, an Apple product, and love it. The barriers to buy a Mac were lowered, one by one.
I’m convinced that Apple creates a series of mini-Perfect Storms which combine to stir passions for their products, sometimes even before availability. Name another tech company with such a large and loyal customer base. Apple, it seems, has out Sony’d Sony.