Apple recently released its new iPhone campaign that presents a curious twist to a tried and tested formula. All ads open with the line, “If you don’t have an iPhone,” and subsequently launch into an overview of key iPhone features. The voiceover tells you-I imagine regretfully-what you’re unable to do, unless you own an iPhone.
This campaign signals Apple’s departure from the hardworking catchphrase of “There’s an app for that”. The new campaign piggybacks on Apple’s exclusivity. You could call it reverse psychology. I call it “sell by envy”.
Take a look at the campaign. Do you feel lesser for not owning an iPhone?
Good. Then it’s working.
Let’s face it. Apple isn’t talking to iPhone users. Apple is talking to the have-nots, the wannabes. The ones who linger outside clubs dying to get in, but lack the credentials. Yes, those guys.
“If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have the App Store. So you don’t have the world’s largest selection of apps that are this easy to find and this easy to download right to your phone,” says the voiceover on one ad as it showcases the ease with which one can download and use the Delta Airlines app. It also features the Starbucks app, in which coffee drinkers can order and pay for their latte from the iPhone. The other two commercials similarly explain the iPod and iBooks.
I am certain that this campaign has iPhone owners feeling secretly proud for shacking up in the hip part of Tech Town. The line is punchy and has bite. However, it puzzles me to think of why Apple would focus on the functions and features that have equally sound alternatives in other smartphones. Kindle and Stanza are equally strong iBooks alternatives. There are several music player options to iTunes, and even though the App Store is the largest application distribution system online, it’s important to note that the Android app market is the fastest growing in the world today.
Is Condescending a language?
In the past, I believed that Apple’s commercials were communication pearls. The messages were clean, uncluttered, and uncomplicated. The product and the apps did most of the talking. One believed that Apple’s confidence lay in the inherent belief of how good their products were, but the “If you don’t have an iPhone,” campaign speaks a different language. Is “Condescending” is language? If yes, then I could swear Apple is speaking it. Or, if that is too harsh, I’d say patronizingly; pityingly.
The sign off line makes me cringe each time I hear it: “Yup. If you don’t have an iPhone … well … you don’t have an iPhone.” I can almost *hear* the voiceover artist feel sorry for me. If Apple is feeling so sorry for the have-nots, I wish they’d just give everyone iPhones so we can all just get on with it.
If numbers are any evidence of success, Mr. Jobs’
Apple, you are now beginning to sound arrogant. Arrogant is not nice. But who cares about nice? If numbers are any evidence of success, Steve Jobs’ marketing team must be doing something right. In Q2 of 2011, iPhone shipments increased by 141.8 percent year-on-year, which meant a growth rate that is 12 times the global mobile phone market.Apple’s new campaign hasn’t gone without brickbats from-you guessed it-its bête noir, the Android phones. A series of hilarious parodies of the ads-some funny, some strange, some bizarre, and all underlined with indignation-have mushroomed across the Internet. From the left-brained, “If you don’t have an iPhone, you have choice…” to, “If you don’t have an iPhone you deserve to die“, ad spoofs are having a field day at Apple’s expense.
However, as far as I’m concerned, it’s simple: “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone. But what you will have is money to fly Delhi to London, and back.”
The writer occasionally writes about media regardless of not knowing ass from elbow, and is an iPhone user.