It's one thing to get attention and create a desire for a great product, but Apple's latest, frenetic iPad ads, in my opinion, smack of a baser motive. We can irritate you. So we do.
An iPad is capable of so very much. It can teach, inspire and be a tool for creativity. It's a product that appeals to people in so many ways. That's why tablets are taking off.
Given that the iPad is virtually unlimited its capabilities and the mind of man shows no limits in terms of creativity, one has to ask: how can one present an appealing ad that showcases the iPad's wonders? Apple has done it before, so we know it can be done.
However, the latest ads, "Together" and "Alive" while trying to show us what can be done with an iPad feel overly needy. The pace of the ad is very much intended to assault the senses, raise the blood pressure, and get attention in a way that's, to me, out of sync with the values of the product and Apple.
The message to me is: we have the technology to assault your senses, for the sake of material gain, so we're going to do it.
That seems out of sync with the basic value proposition of the iPad, which is to become better educated, simplify our lives, connect with friends and family and create things that have value and please others.
Listen to me now! Kapow!
Now I know full well that the techniques used in advertising are different than we might always like them to be. A TV ad only has a few seconds at most to catch your attention and keep you from pressing a button on the remote. Even so, I have seen plenty of TV ads that use better advertising techniques to grab my attention than a rapid-fire sequence of text and drums. I am reminded of Max Headroom blipverts. The thinking here seems to be: If only we can hypnotize the audience, we can sell our product.
In my opinion, if Apple wants to sell us an iPad, perhaps it might be a good idea to tell us what its tablet can do better than the competition's. Tablets look very similar these days, so Amazon isn't shy about showing us the video comparison with the Kindle Fire HD. Amazon isn't shy about pointing out how the KFHD's speakers are better than the iPad's. Lower prices are mentioned.
It's not necessary to get dragged into the mud and have specification duels. But, on the other hand, Apple's current TV ads make me feel that the hustled, feverish ad is missing something.
There's no sense of wonder, product elegance and excitement for the future. There's no affirmation that the iPad is a better product. No celebration. Instead, there's a needy, empty feeling there, and the fracture is filled instead with a worrisome buzz -- visual and audio staccato that sends only one message: Let us drive you into a consumer frenzy. Hey look at us! We need you to get more excited, and we'll irritate you until you do.
These ads seem very un-Apple, and they unsettle me. The product qualities are not showcased, rather, the advertising technique blots out the underlying message -- which is already thin.
Verbal fist image via Shutterstock.