I've been seeing the new Apple iPhone 4S ads this week and wondering why I don't like them very much.
As an Apple addict, I've spent way too much money on their products over the years. In my immediate family we currently have a MacBook Pro, three MacBooks, an iMac, iPad and the aforementioned iPhone 4S. Our Apple graveyard includes Quadras, 3G iBooks, various incarnations of iPods and more.
I only state this so you know my criticism of these spots doesn't come from an Apple hater.
Where do I start with the irrepressibly cute Zooey Deschanel?
First of all, she's so sweet she makes my teeth hurt. Second, if you want to know if it's raining, look out the goddamned window.
As for Samuel L. Jackson...
Organic mushrooms? Risoto? Gazpacho? Do we really want to see the sensitive side of the guy who got the "Motherfu¢k*ng snakes off the motherfu¢k*ng plane?" I don't think so.
But I'd forgive those sins if the spots were even on brand or on strategy.
Apple represents the democratization of data. Its interface makes even the most arcane technologies useful to people like me who have very little understanding of how a computer works. It's a powerful tool that makes life better. Instead of showing that, they've created spots that position the iPhone 4S and Siri as a superfluous plaything for those who are so self absorbed they can't be bothered to remember to clean their room.
This is the kind of gimmicky work I'd expect from Microsoft – remember their Seinfeld campaign? – not the brand I know and love.
Apple and Chiat, you can do better.