People have been writing about the greatness of Apple’s advertising since about 1984. These days Apple does a brilliant job of speaking to its customers in a unique and consistent voice—no matter what the product (and the voice differs depending on the product and audience). The iTunes/iPod campaign features people dancing with their iPods and reckless abandon. The “I’m a Mac” campaign is both fun and funny, pointing why Macs are better than PCs.
But the big winner for effectiveness in advertising is the iPhone campaign. Here’s why:
1. Beautiful product shots. The only thing you see in this campaign is a hand, or hands, holding a iPhone. That’s it. Of course, the iPhone is used to conjure up maps, photos, games, music and anything else the narrator talks about. But what we see is a well-designed iPhone on a plain white background.
2. Product demonstrations. Notice the ads don’t ever say, “Buy an iPhone” or “The iPhone will make your life better.” There are no promises. Just a simple, compelling demonstration designed to make the viewer think, “Wow, if it’s that simple to do all those things, maybe I should get one.” By changing up the demonstration in each ad (but not the product shots), you quickly see how versatile the iPhone is. Interestingly, the iPhone doesn’t do a whole lot of things you couldn’t do before, it just does them more easily from the palm of your hand.
3. Story. Give yourself a gold star if you saw this one coming. Every 30 second ad is a short story. Whether it’s the story of the person who found and adopted a dog, or the story of the backpacker who went to Spain, or the story of the guy who missed the train. And the hero of every story is the phone. It helps find missing reports, and book hotels, and post photos online, and makes the airport check-in process easy. Each story is nothing less than a testimonial about how the phone has improved someone’s life. The viewer is left to assume the phone can make their life better too.
This is a campaign that could run for a very long time. As long as there are useful aps to demo and human interest stories to build the demos around, there will be content for more iPhone ads.
You can watch all the stories in this campaign, here.