Through the years, most of Apple’s advertising has become iconic. From the original rebellion of the iMac to a simple message of a child hooking up an iMac faster than an adult, to the musically inspired iPod dances, to the lovely banter in each ‘I’m a Mac, I’m a PC‘ commercial, Apple’s ads have stood out as well crafted messages that matched the brand.
2016 is no different. Some of Apple’s most recent ads are destined for the history books while a few others are fully automated to become forgettable. With more television networks and TV ads than ever, Apple’s advertising creations need to stand out in different ways; tell a story that can be admired and remembered.
While Apple’s foray into memorable TV commercials started with 1984 and the original Mac launch, the company continues to embed the company logo and persona into ageless advertising. The latest is a holiday commercial entitled ‘Frankie’s Holiday‘ with comedian and 6’-8″ actor Brad Garrett in the title role; the Frankenstein monster with an iPhone and a desire to bring a little light to the holidays, and a touch of humanity to a sometimes cold and unfriendly world.
Unsurprisingly, Frankie’s Holiday both inspires and highlights Apple’s brand and products in scenes more appropriate for a feature length movie.
Similarly, critics consider the TV commercial for Apple’s new MacBook Pro to be one of the best ever. Personally, I’m not sure why because Frankie’s Holiday is more touching and memorable, while Bulbs’s message– whatever it is– seems to get lost in the, well, exploding bulbs, but different strokes for different folks. That’s why Apple never settles on a single ad. Unfortunately, Apple will settle for less-than-mediocrity which explains why Drake lip syncing Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood could only happen if it were part of the $3-billion Beats acquisition.
Few companies– Coca-Cola and McDonald’s come to mind– offer the same feel good that Apple provides in their product commercials. ‘I’m a Mac and I’m a PC‘ were iconic and entertaining, but probably didn’t move the marketshare needle as much as it reenforced a Mac user’s decision to buy a PC from Apple.
This year, Dive and Balloons are clunkers, a few years ago the popular Misunderstood TV commercial was widely criticized yet remarkably entertaining while showing off the iPhone’s camera and video editing capabilities.
That’s not easy to do but Apple does it often. Apple entertains with feel good while Samsung shows their real colors as a company by being snarky and sassy. Some of that might explain why Samsung has difficulty making a profit in the smartphone industry. Well, that and exploding batteries. Look at the damage Apple could cause Samsung by putting a choice of iPhone or Galaxy-whatever in front of a holiday shopper, then showing a Christmas tree on fire after the Samsung battery exploded. Apple is too classy for that but Saturday Night Live is not.