Apple Ads Get It: Target Emotion, not Specs

| Analysis

Apple released a new iPhone commercial that focuses on FaceTime video chats, and completely skips over hardware and software specifications, just like the other ads showing off iPhone features. Unlike companies that rattle off camera and processor specs along with screen size, Apple's ads go for an emotional pull.

The latest iPhone 5 commercial, called "FaceTime Every Day," shows friends and families staying in touch and sharing their lives even when they're apart. The ad pulls on viewers heartstrings and shows how the iPhone is a part of our daily lives and not just another smartphone.

Apple's iPhone 5 FaceTime commercial goes for the heart, not product specsApple's iPhone 5 FaceTime commercial goes for the heart, not product specs

The last few seconds of the commercial includes a voiceover stating that the iPhone is used more than any other smartphone every day for video calls, giving the only branding shown in the TV spot.

There aren't any barbs thrown at competing products, no mention of operating systems, and no cell service providers named. Just people sharing. Contrast that with Nokia's new Lumia 925 ad that spends almost a minute and a half comparing photos with iPhone pics.

The commercial shows the Nokia name seven times, Lumia six times, and iPhone five times, plus a voice over says "Nokia" twice and "Lumia" once. Only once is "iPhone" shown or said during the FaceTime ad, and "Apple" isn't mentioned at all.

For Apple, ads feel like they're more about empowering people than burning brand names into our brains. That's a tactic more companies should learn because after a commercial break ends it's easier to remember feeling happy than how many megapixels a smartphone has.

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I find them a lot classier than the other guys mud slinging campaigns.

Harvey Lubin 1

There are good logical reasons why Apple doesn’t compare its iPhone to competitors phones in ads:

1) Followers always make comparisons to the leader, and since Apple is the leader in high-end smartphone sales (and profits), it doesn’t need to compare the iPhone to lesser competitors

2) Comparing your product (any product) to a competitor’s product makes your company look petty and vacuous.

3) Comparing your product (any product) to a competitor’s product in ads takes away from the limited time available in the ad to actually sell your own product by showing the benefits of using it.

4) Comparing your product (any product) to a competitor’s product in ads is actually free advertising for your competitor’s product. Whether you show or mention the competitor product name or not, viewers will understand what the competition’s product is, and also be diverted in thinking about the competitor’s product instead of yours.

5) Comparing your product (any product) to a competitor’s product in ads by making fun of users of the competitor’s product (as Samsung does) has a negative affect of alienating those users, which is the opposite of what you should be doing.

Samsung’s ads (in addition to being poorly conceived) seem to be produced for themselves rather than for attracting users from competitors’ products.


Well, you can’t tout specs when you are inferior can you? Just ask former iOS, now Android champion Guy Kawasaki. The Woz is next to go Android, you can hear it in his talk.
Ads that are nebulous smack of bullsh•t, snake oil tactics. Zero info is not good,imo.
Touting features that aren’t there in the competition just makes sense if you are the underdog.
How quick the clones forget Apple’s smug PC Guy junk. No company is beyond reproach when it comes to the cut throat bullsh•t of advertising.

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