Apple launched a website Friday titled, "Why there's nothing quite like iPhone." It's a multipage display that is gorgeous, laid out well, and interactive, but what stands out for me is the company's use of plain language to encapsulate what fans of iPhone think about our device. On every page, Apple strikes to the core of our love for iPhone in a way that may resonate with real people.
Apple is one of the best marketers in corporate history, but there's something about this new campaign that makes it feel very different from even Apple's advertising. For one thing, it doesn't feel like advertising. It's the kind of material I found myself nodding along to in agreement. I have no idea what you might call that because I've never seen it before.
A page from Apple's Why there's nothing quite like iPhone" website
For instance, the page describing Touch ID goes straight to the heart of why you should care about this technology in a stunningly accessible way:
A painstakingly engineered sensor that lets you unlock your phone with just your fingerprint. And iPhone keeps your print safe by never storing an image of it. Instead, it turns it into an intricate piece of math, which can't be turned back into an image, re-created, replicated, or otherwise fiddled with. And we built a place especially for that piece of math called the Secure Enclave. It's completely walled off from the rest of your phone, and it keeps your fingerprint encrypted and protected.
We can't see it. 'They' can't see it. Not even you can see it.
Yep. As a tech journalist, I knew all that stuff, but I've never once seen Touch ID explained in such a straight forward manner. It's brilliant.
This new campaign also continue's Apple's efforts to make its whole widget business model into a competitive advantage by making people aware of it. The echo chamber has debated the relative merits of whole widget vs. open licensing for decades, but it's still not something most people are even aware of, let alone care about.
From page one of the site:
Every iPhone we’ve made — and we mean every single one — was built on the same belief. That a phone should be more than a collection of features. That, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.
Continuing to page two:
It should have hardware and software that were designed to work with each other. And enhance each other. By people who frequently see each other. That’s how you make a phone that works ridiculously well.
There is so much information and philosophy behind those last four sentences. You can start with how Steve Jobs studied some of the success of Bell Labs in its heyday during the 1950s and learned that many people of different disciplines frequently ran into each other in the facility because of the way people were officed.
Seizing on that idea, he had Pixar's headquarters designed to maximize serendipitous, chance meetings so that different people of different disciplines would interact with each other every day.
Apple Campus 2.0—the spaceship HQ—was designed with the same thing in mind, and the idea has spread in Silicon Valley, too. Google, notably, talked about how its new headquarters would maximize chance meetings.
But Let's Talk About You
Etc. etc. etc. But that's for nerds like me (and probably you) to soak up and think about and expound upon ad nauseam. Apple took the essence of what's important about that myriad of history and fact and explained it simply, succinctly. Plainly. Apple explained it in a way that relates to users instead of focusing on its viewpoint.
Apple's message is that our way makes better products for you. This is the first time I've seen that message delivered in such a way, and I like it.