Apple Genius New Mac Adverts

It’s not very often Apple runs a dedicated ad campaign all about the Mac. In fact the last time Apple ran a campaign was the incredibly successful “Get a Mac” ads starring Justin Long and John Hodgeman in 2006. The ads which had sibling runs in Japan and the UK were cultural icons, parodied and imitated over and over again. Get a Mac lasted four years until Apple killed it in 2010. Apple has not stopped advertising individual Mac machines since 2010 but it was time for a new campaign all about the Mac.

Yesterday during NBC’s delayed run of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony Apple ran a number of new ads dedicated to the Mac, the ads don’t have an umbrella name yet but they do have a running theme. Each ad, there are currently three, feature the same Apple Genius who finds himself in a quirky situation where an oblivious individual either needs help on their Mac or is unaware of the unique benefits.

These ads are however not very Apple like and fly in the face of Apple’s principles of marketing which has long been to show off the product and what it can do. Now I hear you, you’re saying that the “Get a Mac” ads didn’t show off features either and this is true, if I’m honest I didn’t particularly like the layout of those ads either. What the Get a Mac ads did well that these new runs don’t was create an air of discovery around the Mac, they encouraged those who didn’t understand the ads to head to an Apple Store or online to find out what the fuss was about. The same argument could be said for this run but I don’t see them as catchy enough or interesting enough.

Whilst I like the ads take on having a Genius deal with problems, a throwback to the popularity of Apple’s retail stores I suspect the quirky situations will have little traction with consumers. This is all made worse because we now know how great Apple’s advertising can be. When the original Get a Mac ads started in 2006 the iPhone nor the iPad even existed in the public realm, the initial run of iPhone ads showed off the iPhone and what it did. That premise has changed very little, even the latest Siri ad shows the actual interface and a real world-ish situation. Apple’s iPad ads are equally as weighted towards showing the device and software, the great ads that showed how effective FaceTime was at connecting families around the world was a down to earth and simple way of showing an iOS feature.

This begs to question as to why Apple continues to shy way from showing OS X and the great software that runs on it? Two of the three adverts that aired last night don’t even feature a Mac in them (don’t even get me started on the number of women who show up in Apple’s ads). Maybe these ads are meant to send the message that if you buy a Mac then Apple is on hand to help? They send more of a message that if you buy a Mac then you’ll need help. Didn’t Apple once use a slogan, It Just Works?

Apple wouldn’t advertise the iPhone or iPad in this way so I have little confidence that a dude in a blue t-shirt throwing out names like iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, photobooks and letter pressed cards might pique the interest of some but for most will be a dull advert that does little to sell the Mac brand.