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USA Today Features 2-Page Ad For PowerBook, iBook (With Pics)

Mac Sightings - USA Today Features 2-Page Ad For PowerBook, iBook (With Pics)

by , 1:00 PM EDT, July 13th, 2001

No matter how well Apple executes its hardware, software and retail-store strategies, there persists one perennial area where the company continually draws the harshest criticism from the Mac faithful: its advertising.

Yesterday, the Cupertino, CA, company tooted its own horn -- not that there's anything wrong with THAT -- with a two-page advertising "spread" in the Thursday, July 12, edition of USA Today featuring the PowerBook G4 and the new iBook.

Picture this:

On the left page, there is a picture of the PowerBook at the bottom, with advertising copy above it in the well-known Apple Garamond font. The headline reads "Too bad you only have one lap." Above and below the headline are quotes from PowerBook reviews in the Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Fortune, BusinessWeek and the San Jose Mercury News. The right page has a picture of the iBook at the top, with quotes below it from iBook reviews in the Los Angeles Times, BusinessWeek, New York Times and ZDNet AnchorDesk. At the bottom of the right page is a light-blue Apple logo and the now-familiar catch-phrase-cum-tag-line "Think Different."

You can look at the whole ad yourself, or you can view separate, closer shots of the PowerBook and the iBook.


The entire spread

Close-up

The Mac Observer Spin:

Let's face it; in times past, Apple ads have "created oral vacuum" (that's "sucks" for those of you with no sense of humor this morning). Even with the "new Apple" of the last four years, some ads still dealt too much with the intangibles and less with the ad content that is required to capture new users and new markets.

This ad is a good step in the right direction. Apple uses a play from the "hot news" section of its web site by letting the media sing the company's praises. Notice that the cast of reviewers say that the iBook is "simply the best consumer laptop on the market today," and "Apple could literally reshape the laptop." Sure, when you look closer, you see that the quotes Apple uses are from the "usual suspects" in the computer journalism community (David Pogue, Hiawatha Bray, Walter Mossberg), but it's the institutions they represent that lends mucho credibility to the ad -- and to Apple.

We would still like to see more ads more clearly spelling out the Macintosh advantages. But until then, ads like this one will do just fine. What do you think?

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