Apple's iPhone Ads

Monday, 2007-06-04; 00:31:00

why showcasing the UI of the iPhone is atypical for Apple's ads

Apple released three new ads for the iPhone this evening. They aren't your traditional Apple ads, though. The very first thing I noticed was that, gosh, Apple is actually showing the functionality of the phone! This is interesting in many respects.

First, Apple never does this in their own ads. The iPod ads just feature silhouettes dancing, the original iPhone ad just showed people answering phones, the Get a Mac ads just talk about features, the candy-colored iMac ads basically just showcased the color of the iMacs, and the PowerMac G5 commercial just showed some guy being blown through a house. I can't think of one single ad that's come out of Apple (since Steve Jobs' return) that has actually demonstrated the use of the product. [EDIT: I take that back. The original iPod ad did show the UI of iTunes and the iPod, but even then it took a full minute.]

Not to say it's bad; I think these are great ads. Actually, it'd be fantastic if Apple did some Mac ads in this vein, but I suppose it would be much more difficult to box the Mac UI into thirty seconds.

Second, I can't think of a single ad for a cell phone that has done this either. I don't think any other phone shows off its UI, and for good reason: they suck ass.

It's also notable that, at least in the "How To" ad, Apple has pretty much showcased every major feature of the iPhone in thirty seconds: it shows you how to turn it on, then how to browse your music, then your e-mail, then photos, then the web, and then the phone call functionality. That it only takes thirty seconds to go through all this doesn't mean that the iPhone does nothing, it's just a testament to the simplicity of the UI design: you don't have to scroll through fifty bazillion menus to get to what you want. Everything is always two touches away: home button, app button.

Other things to note about the ads:

  • the ads officially pin down the release date of the iPhone: June 29th; apparently Apple really likes to push its previous statements to their limits, as they did with the release of iTunes Plus music
  • Macenstein noted a discrepancy in the UI in a brief quarter-second snap of the phone; in these frames, the main iPhone menu has twelve buttons, not eleven. Macenstein wonders what the extra app is for.
  • "the new AT&T" is relegated to one small second of the ad, and it goes by so fast that you can barely read it; make no mistake: Apple is the dominant one in this partnership, not the other way around
  • Pacific Catch in San Francisco is going to get a frickin' hell of a boost from the placement in the "Calamari" ad. Wonder how they managed to swing that.
  • it's kind of amusing to think of calamari while watching Pirates of the Caribbean
  • the ads continue Apple's recent tradition of having non-descript music in the background; they've done this in the Switcher ads, the Get a Mac ads, and now these iPhone ads. But I guess it'd be weird to see the ads without some background music.
  • sadly, there's been no change in the two-year subscription plan requirement, as the fine print in the last second of the ads illustrates; it would've been nice to have a pre-paid plan option as some rumors predicted, but whatever, I'm not getting one anyway. [UPDATE: When Apple posted the fourth ad on their website, all of the ads lost the "two year contract" fine print. Just a technicality, or an indication of a major change?]
  • take a look at the time that the iPhones indicate: they all show the morning of the day the ads were released; kind of funny, maybe they were still filming at that time? Naah.

Technological Supernova   Intarweb   Older   Newer   Post a Comment