During MACWORLDis keynote address, Steve Jobs previewed a series of commercials for the newly released iMacs. The clear audience favorite was the ad for the new Sage colored machine, which was displayed with Kermit the Frog singing "It Ainit Easy Being Green" in the background. Despite the early popularity of the machine, Apple pulled the ad from its web site late last week. Thanks to a listener on last nightis MacOS Radio.net show, we discovered that the ad could be found again on the Apple site as of Monday afternoon.
Our own Wes George had this to say about the apparent axing of the Kermit ad last week:
No, more likely, under the advice of Chiat-Dayis psychometric testing and analysis department, Apple pulled the Sage iMac ad on its own volition. You have to think like a big time ad agency to understand why.
Itis true that Kermitis iMac pitch during the keynote address was by far the most popular of the five commercials as measured by the audienceis thrill response. Nevertheless, Beini Green is not the type of "emotional color" that a major ad agency willingly risks a multi-million dollar television campaign on. The minor key of the tune is widely considered by ad agency pitch-men as too soft a sell to promote strong sales, while the lyrics actually suggest to the viewer that he or she would rather have another color. Neither angle is good for ramping up Sage iMac sales, combined theyire the kiss of death.
The humor in the song, which accounts for the MACWORLD lay audienceis love for the Kermit spot, is probably too subtle for the ad agencyis statistical approach to measure. They prefer unambiguous messages which penetrate to the lowest common denominator within the target audience.
Mr. George makes some very good points about why, perhaps, the ad is on thin ice. His best point, however, may have been the last one; Apple has seen the subtle charm behind the ad. For now, at least, the ad is back in circulation and you can find it at the Apple web site.