Apple’s HomePod Video Ad is in a Creative Rut

Apple HomePod ad.

Former Apple marketing guru, Ken Segall, has some mild concern about Apple’s adherence to its legacy values. That is, avoidance of the safe and predictable. I have to agree in the case of the HomePod. With an informed and delicate approach, author Segall analyzes “Apple’s case of dance fever.

Apple HomePod ad.
Image credit: Apple

The reason I’m a little dubious about Apple’s approach is because of the price point of the HomePod. Sure, iPods in the old days were also expensive, but the prospect of having “A thousand songs in your pocket” negated the cost. Quickly, lower cost iPods rolled out. The perceived value was worth the cost. Just as with the recent iPhone X.

But when so many people, including the very young, have an iPhone and Apple Music, what’s the allure of an expensive device that sits on a coffee table?

It seems to me that, for lack of a better vehicle to deliver the message about the HomePod, Apple punted and fell back to the methods of old rather than address the new, different HomePod buyer mentality.

Author Segall walks us through the history of Apple music and dance advertising to argue his thesis.

I’m not sick of the dance idea because I’m anti-dance. I’m sick of it because I’m pro-creativity—and what I’ve loved about Apple advertising throughout history is its ability to shake things up, and go where it hasn’t gone before.

What do you think? Does Apple’s 4m:01s video he points to sell you on the HomePod? Considering the type of product the HomePod wants to be and the type of person who would eagerly embrace it, is Apple’s dance crazy HomePod ad the right way to go? Or does this new class of product from Apple deserve a new kind of thinking about how to reach an audience?

Next Page: The News Debris For The Week of March 5th. Google’s education and enterprise efforts paying off.

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Marian Valentin

The objective of this advertisement is to demonstrate that the use case for HomePod in a fun, whimsical way. I believe that it succeeds brilliantly. It’s a cross between the older shape iPod ads and also the latest Apple Christmas advertisements. Indeed, the use case for your HomePod is just like a 21st-century version of the house stereo for music fans. Anybody who likes to sit in a darkened area and immerse themselves in their favourite music may easily relate to the advertisement for an auto clicker mac . I regularly Spike Jones’ job and FKA Twigs is a great… Read more »

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: Some very interesting reads. Just a few quick thoughts. Since you asked, I understand Segall’s point about Apple playing it safe, while the corporate culture is one of risk taking. He has a point, although I’m not certain that it is well-aimed. Companies and corporations worldwide are frequently counselled by agencies to emphasise ‘branding’, which goes beyond protecting the brand to reiterating themes that conjure that brand and become an immediate association, particularly for busy people on the go who might not be able to watch an entire advert, but get a glimpse and then think of that company.… Read more »


The purpose of this ad is to demonstrate the use case for HomePod in a fun, whimsical way. I think it succeeds brilliantly. It is a cross between the old silhouette iPod ads and the more recent Apple Christmas ads. Clearly, the use case for the HomePod is as a 21st century version of the home stereo for music lovers. Anyone who loves to sit in a darkened room and immerse themselves in their favorite music can easily relate to this ad. I always Spike Jones’ work and FKA Twigs is a terrific dancer. The ad reminded me of Spike… Read more »


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From the post about the US warning about the new smartphone from Huawei: “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” FBI Director Chris Wray testified during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in mid-February. Wray also said that the devices give Chinese smartphone makers access or even “control” over the U.S. telecommunications system and “provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information” and “conduct undetected espionage.” Two points: 1. Poll after poll shows the party… Read more »