Will Apple Ever Advertise Mac OS X?

"I call it a white book of a thousand pages --- and hidden in those pages are a few haiku, written, perhaps, in invisible ink."

Babylon 5 Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps

Iim sure you did the same thing...

When Mac OS X was released in March, I wondered if I would see any Apple commercials soon thereafter:

The TV screen is filled with a close-up of the OS X desktop. As some techno song plays in the background, a cursor flies across the desktop, moving over the Dock; it then clicks on the Finder icon, opening a Finder window, moving and playing with the interface elements therein. We are treated to shots of the Aqua interface. The commercial ends with shots of iTunes burning a CD, iMovie editing a movie...

The screen goes black, upon which we see the following words: "OS X. The worldis most advanced operating system. Think Different."

We gave Apple the benefit of the doubt. After all, OS X, admittedly, wasnit ready for prime time. When version 10.1 ships, we thought, THATis when the rubes will be treated to ubiquitous commercials showing OS X in all itis glory.

But that didnit happen either.

So now, weire scratching our collective heads. Why, oh why, isnit Apple hyping the you-know-what out of OS X? Sure, sure, there are positive OS X reviews in nearly every PC publication around. Apple couldnit buy better reviews. But whereis Appleis ads? Whereis Appleis ad company, and why isnit that ad company advertising the spit out of OS X? What up witi dat?

Iim sure there are good reasons why Apple isnit advertising OS X. Hereis three theories that I came up with:

The Far-Fetched idea Theory -- Apple will never advertise OS X. Suppose that Apple doesnit feel that the OS is the reality. Suppose that Apple intends to focus on the hardware -- after all, the company is a hardware company.

Suppose that Apple wants to make OS X the best operating system it can be, but, suppose that Apple wants to make it a transparent OS. Suppose Apple plans to let the OS speak for itself. Suppose that Apple will never draw attention to OS X through advertising, because it already has the computing worldis attention and any more would be redundant (you must admit that OS X gets as much media face time as Windows).

Maybe Appleis not advertising OS X is making a statement, a statement in contradistinction to Microsoftis plan to make the world nauseous with Windows overkill. Hey, Iid buy that.

This would be Appleis way of staying above the fray, lumping OS advertising with "Megahertz madness."

I told you it was far fetched.

The Logical Theory -- Apple doesnit think itis the right time to advertise OS X. Maybe Apple doesnit want OS X to be lost in Microsoftis marketing orgy. Apple is waiting a) for Windows XP to have its day in the sun and b) for OS X to develop a little bit more.

On the surface, this would be a good idea. But I donit buy my own theory after the first sentence. It makes no sense for Apple not to advertising OS X, now that version 10.1 is on the streets. OS X is bigger and more landmarking than any hardware product heretofore. Yet, Apple is focusing none of its advertising dollars on the central (software) component included in each of its hardware products, iPod notwithstanding.

The Paranoid Theory – Apple made a deal with Microsoft. In order to be allowed continued existence (Office for the Mac, Internet Explorer, Outlook for Exchange Server, etc.), Apple promised back in 1997 that the company would not go head to head with Microsoft Windows. Hence, no advertising.

I know, I know. Never smoke crack before writing.

All that said, I have no idea why Apple isnit advertising OS X. Okay, I can almost buy the argument that a mere Operating System isnit synonymous with "sexy advertising." But if Apple doesnit advertising OS X, then what a waste, I say.

It is really odd and disappointing that Mac OS X isnit being plastered around the world on billboards and magazine- and newspaper ads, because, contrary to our incestuous Mac media and community, very comparatively few people know that Apple has a new Operating System. And that is pathetic. The computing world needs an OS X ad blitz that would show people that Apple is alive and well in the OS business (and advertising would finally convince white people to relax around me, since they would then know that my wearing a T-shirt with a blue X on it doesnit mean that Iim a Louis Farrakhan follower paying homage to Malcolm X, but, instead, I am a computer geek showing my OS partisanship).

Appleis OS X packaging calls it the "worldis most advanced operating system." Therefore, Apple should either advertise OS X like it is the "most advanced operating system," or remove that cover copy.

Why be the best if you donit let everyone know. Being humble isnit kosher behavior for a company trying to increase its market share from five to ten.

Rodney O. Lain thinks Apple should make a "Whassup!" commercial. When he isnit trying to convince everyone with that advertising idea, he is a regular contributor to The Mac Observer with his "iBrotha" column.