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Content History of Apple, Inc. Important Figures TBWA/Chiat/Day Key Figures History with Apple Situational Analysis Research Strategic Planning Evaluation Personal Analysis Current Information Media Coverage Analysis of Media Coverage Interview with PR Professional References
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History of Apple Inc.
1976- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple Computer, Inc. and the Apple I is released. Jobs and Wozniak met in 1971 and quickly became friends. They worked closely together to assemble a new machine to be sold to a local computer store called The Byte Shop. The store ordered 50 fully assembled machines at $500 each. And here, Apple Computer, Inc. began.
1977- Apple Computer, Inc. is incorporated in Cupertino, CA. 1980- Apple Computer, Inc. becomes a publicly owned company. 1982- Apple Computer, Inc. is the first personal computer company to reach $1 billion in its annual sales. 1985- Due to management issues, Steve Jobs and a few other Apple executives leave Apple Computer, Inc. and John Sculley assumes control of the company. 1991- Release of PowerBook notebook computers. 1994- Release of Power Macintosh line. 1996- Apple Computer, Inc. acquires NeXT and Steve Jobs returns to Apple as a special advisor. 1997- Steve Jobs becomes interim chief executive officer at Apple Computer, Inc. 1998- Release of the all-in-one iMac. 2000- Steve Jobs oversees Apple Computer, Inc. as CEO, and introduces a new ideology of simple design and focus among Apple products. 2001-The Apple iPod is introduced and Apple Computer, Inc. drops “Computer” from its name. 2011- Steve Jobs passes away and Apple remains the largest technology company in the world with annual revenues over $60 billion.
Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955-October 5, 2011) was an inventor who co-founded Apple, Inc. with Steve Wozniak in 1976. He became chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc. and introduced the company’s modern philosophy of simple design and focused products. After birth, Jobs was adopted by a lower-middle-class couple from south of the San Francisco Bay Area and became interested in electronics at an early age. When he met computer-savvy Steve Wozniak in 1969, the two noticed their similar interests and became good friends. Later on, Jobs attended Reed College in Oregon for a semester of college before dropping out and learning about Eastern mysticism, dieting, and traveling to India to seek enlightenment at the age of 19. When Jobs returned home, Wozniak was working on a computer board, and the two decided to design their own computers, creating Apple Computer, Inc. After the Apple I was released, Jobs and Wozniak began making improvements until the breakthrough Apple II computer was released, much more advanced than anything else on the market at the time. Jobs then met a venture capitalist named Mike Markkula, a former Intel executive, who invested $250,000 into Apple Computer, Inc. With the success of the Apple II, the company went public four years later in 1980, and 25-year-old Jobs had a net worth of $200 million. Apple III was then released, but proved to be a market failure in comparison to the Apple II, so Jobs began working on the Lisa computer, which introduced a graphical user interface to
the market and revolutionized computing. Steve was considered too temperamental so he was taken off the Lisa project, and then began working on the Macintosh project, which focused on making computers simple and easy to use for customers. Due to managerial problems, Jobs was asked to resign from Apple in 1985, and he then bought an animation company in 1986 for $10 million that he incorporated as Pixar.
Steve Wozniak, nicknamed ‘Woz’, was born on August 11, 1950. Wozniak is a computer engineer, most commonly known for founding Apple Co. with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne.
The first creation that he made was called the ‘Blue Box’, used to hack into phone systems. Once Jobs saw what Wozniak had created, he realized it could be sold and gave him the idea of starting a company.
From the ‘Blue Box’ came Wozniak’s most prominent pieces of work. He revolutionized computers when he created the Apple I and the Apple II in the mid- 1970’s. Wozniak and Jobs worked together on the systems and eventually formed Apple Computer in ‘76 in the basement of Jobs’ parents’ home.
After a bad airplane crash where Wozniak lost partial memory for a period of time, he decided to
leave Apple and go back to the University of California, Berkley (where he originally left to create Apple). He then changed his name to “Rocky Raccoon Clark” and went on to receive his undergraduate degree.
In 1983, Wozniak decided to go back to Apple, but working as only a role of an engineer and in ‘87 ended his full-time employment working at Apple.
Today Wozniak continues to work at Apple and is also an Apple shareholder. He remained close with Jobs until Jobs recent passing and was quoting saying ‘we’ve lost something we won’t get back’.
The mission of TBWA is not only to be one of the best advertising agency networks, but to also be one of the most creative in the world. The company spans over 100 different countries, with 274 agencies, and employs over 11,000 people. TBWA also specializes in over 22 specialty disciplines including Design, Digital, Retail Activation and Theatre, Sports Sponsorship, CRM, CSR and Cause Related Marketing, Custom Publishing, Mobile Utility, Event Marketing, and Brand Amplification. TBWA is one of the top-ten world-wide advertising agencies and was recognized in 2010 by Advertising Age as the “Best International Network of the Decade.” The company was also ranked number 24 in 2009 by Fast Company’s list of “The World’s 50 Most Innovating Companies.” The roster of clients represented by TBWA/Chiat/Day is impressive. The company creates advertisements for Absolut Vodka, Apple Inc., Visa, Energizer, McDonald’s, and Proctor & Gamble, just to name a few.
Tom Carroll, CEO
Tom Carroll has served as Chief Executive Officer of TBWA Worldwide since December 17, 2007. Before becoming CEO, Carroll was the company’s president for one year. Carroll has moved through the ranks during his career, serving as Director, Vice Chairman, and President of The Americas branch of TBWA. Mr. Carroll has also previously held the honorable position of Vice Chairman of The Board of Directors at the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Lee Clow is currently the Chairman and Global Director at TBWA Worldwide. Clow worked as Chief Creative Officer in the early 1980s and worked closely with business partner and close friend, Steve Jobs. Clow was hired at the beginning company, Chiat/Day, as an art director in 1973. Clow worked his way literally from bottom to top staring from art director moving to Associate Creative Director in 1977, Creative Director in 1982, and was promoted to President, Chief Creative Officer in the same year. Clow has created some of the greatest campaigns in the
world including Macintosh’s “1984” Super-Bowl masterpiece, the Energizer Bunny campaign, and the Taco Bell campaign. He is referred to by Advertising Age as “advertising’s art director guru.”
History with Apple
TBWA and Lee Clow launched Apple into the spotlight by introducing the “1984” commercial during the Super-Bowl in January 1984. This commercial has been said to be one of the greatest advertisements ever created and put Macintosh and Lee Clow on the map. Between the years of 1985-1997 (the years Steve Jobs was ousted as CEO), advertising slowed dramatically and TBWA was not involved in many campaigns. However, in 1997, upon the return of Steve Jobs to the Chief Executive Officer position, Lee Clow and TBWA were called upon again to create another masterpiece. Consequently, the “Think Different” campaign was launched. This campaign was implemented with the presentation of the first iMac. The campaign was extremely successful selling out Apple’s entire stock of iMacs. The partnership between TBWA and Apple was now set in stone. Jobs and Clow worked closely in the following years and always kept advertising at the forefront of Apple’s media strategies. The two companies continued working together and again created advertising genius with the Apple “Get A Mac” campaign. This campaign aimed to break the image-based advertisements produced by Apple in the past. Although these past campaigns were incredibly successful, time called for a new, fresh approach to the Macintosh brand.
After the success of the “1984” campaign Apple experimented with many new technologies, most of which were unsuccessful. The company attempted at creating a new wave of CD players, speakers and video consoles, all of which failed and drained the corporation of funding. The failure of this campaign then lead to stalling the creation of Apple II as it was too expensive to create. PC beat out Mac at this time as it targeted cheap, easy-to-use computers whereas Apple targeted a niche audience supporting heavily engineered technology, but at a higher cost. Steve Jobs announced early in 1997 that Macintosh would be working with Microsoft to install the Microsoft Office software on Macintosh computers. In this same year Apple developed its online store and quickly was reborn from the ashes with new, interested consumers and many different outlets for success. The “Think Different” campaign in 1997 brought Apple a whole new group of consumers. This campaign targeted “the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes ..." an idea put forth by Lee Clow. People were beginning to trust Apple as a brand and a major innovator. Apple was a brand that stood for thinking outside of the box and being different. The years following introduced many new innovations for Apple, but focused around the brand’s newest creation, the iPod. iTunes was released in 2003 and quickly transformed into the market leader in online music services. iPod and iTunes popularity boomed, however MacBook technology improvements and enhancements were left unnoticed. Although Apple had acquired a strong “cult following” by the early 2000s, there were still other options holding back potential buyers, namely, Microsoft.
In 2000, The United States Supreme Court filed suit against Microsoft claiming the company was an “abusive monopoly” and it was true that up until this time Microsoft was ruling the computer spectrum. After the trial the company released Windows XP and X-Box and gained an even stronger following. People chose Microsoft because it was available first, it was advertised first, and it was the most popular computer software at the time. At this point in the game Apple had made a name for itself and was selling millions of computers, but it was still chasing the coat-tails of Microsoft. Both companies flourished throughout the early 2000s. Creating new software and constantly battling for the title of “Best Software Company.” The competition between both Macintosh and Microsoft is what challenges both companies to create new, exciting and innovative technologies. It is this constant struggle between which is what deters users from choosing whether they “were a Mac or a PC.” In anticipation of the up-and-coming Windows Vista from Microsoft, Macintosh needed to take action and let the public decide for good whether he or she was a Mac or a PC, hence the “Get A Mac” campaign was initiated.
In 2005, Microsoft launched a campaign called “Start Something”. This campaign was meant to showcase how people can “explore, enhance and pursue” their passions with Windows. This campaign was definitely more creative than most Microsoft campaigns had been and would be extremely important to look into before the ‘Get a Mac’ campaign was created. Many Mac campaigns in the past have been image based and targeted to a creative and artistic audience who were looking for something different. Previous, Microsoft was known for the more money conscious consumer. This campaign could have potentially put Microsoft into a new light and could greatly affect Mac patrons.
Important research would also be looking at the market share and value of Microsoft at the time of the ‘Start Something’ campaign and research how successful their advertisements were. From there, Mac could see which strategies worked for Macintosh and what should be used for the ‘Get a Mac’ campaign and what they should not use.
The overall goal of the campaign was to convince computer users, mainly those with no preference between Mac and PC, to choose Mac as their computer of choice. Macintosh had been established as a worthy brand, but so had its competitor PC. Apple aimed to make a bold statement that they are the better choice over Microsoft. Attacking the Mac versus PC battle head on was precisely what Apple needed to do in order to gain followers that would benefit the brand to its fullest potential in the future.
The overall objective of the Get A Mac campaign is to change the way potential consumers go about buying a new computer. Mac was targeting the population of consumers who are looking to buy a computer, but are not aware of all of the options out there. The campaign aimed to provide the audience with information that will lead them to eventually create a relationship with the Mac brand and continue to support the brand in the future. Gaining the target audience’s approval and confidence is another objective. Apple cannot change the public’s computer buying preferences without first gaining their trust. Providing the public with useful information in a comedic, light-hearted way puts Apple in good standing with the public and makes the company look favorable to the audience. People are easily entertained and therefor even more easily influenced by humor, charm and cleverness.
The Get A Mac campaign is aimed at reaching people who are impartial to Mac or PC rather than those who already have a PC. This also includes potential consumers who have purchased a PC simply because they do not know what else to buy. The advertisements’ target audience is not a computer-savvy “nerd,” Page 12
who would know all about the technologically advanced features that Macs have to offer. Rather, it’s an average person who probably has a PC at home who may not have been exposed to Macs in the past or haven’t looked into buying one.
The creation of a character that the audience can listen to and trust is the first tactic that was necessary to implement this campaign. Creating a character creates an instant association with a brand that will remain with the viewer of the commercial long after they turn off their television set. The oldest strategy in advertising campaign making is to create a character that the audience can identify with, and Justin Long’s character, Mac, did just that. The overall predominant tactic in the Get A Mac campaign is to force the viewer to choose which brand they associate with. The tactic is implemented by crafting different messages that portray PC in a negative light and create an opportunity for Mac to shine. When Mac presents itself in a positive manner, the audience is more likely to associate these things with the Mac brand and the negative attributes with PC. Inadvertently, Mac informs the audience about its innovative features and easy-to-use technology. Mac appears driven, confident and ahead-of-the-game which is attractive to potential buyers and the target audience who will hopefully choose their brand as the product they wish to support. Comparative advertising is what made the biggest impact for the Get A Mac campaign. Being able to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages represented by both Mac and PC is what allows the consumer to understand the true superiority for mac computers.
Also important is the personification of the two brands. The actors personify the computers they represent, and are actually supposed to look like the founders of each company: Mac looks like a youthful Steve Jobs, while PC looks like a pudgy Bill Gates. By personifying the brands consumers are able to identify with the character they feel they exemplify the most or would hope to be the most like. By associating the viewer’s own personality, wants and needs with that of the character on the screen, the viewer is subconsciously committing to which brand he or she prefers.
Mac wanted to confirm to the public that their brand is better than PC in every aspect of computer software, programming and innovation. The message is clear: “PCs are unreliable and cause unnecessary hassles in your life. Mac is simple, easy and convenient and comes with the support of an innovative and motivated company.” Apple aimed to entice their target audience to consider them over their leading competitor. By implementing commercials that favor Mac over PC and cast a shadow on Microsoft’s advantages, Apple hoped to gain more customers. As long as Mac can personify that they are the answer to all of PC’s problems, consumers have no need to look for any other possible solutions. Apple hands frustrated PC users an alternative product with minimal research necessary.
“Hello, I’m a Mac.” – Justin Long’s character “And I’m a PC.” – John Hodgman’s character
1. Mac is simple and compact, PC is complicated and has too many steps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAwtBa2C4ts. “Some researchers estimate that a single negative message’s impact in judgment is equivalent in strength to five or more positive messages.” Pfau & Parrot, 1993. In this ad, Mac is directly attacking the flaws that can be found in PC, but not in their brand. PC is being portrayed as being very complicated and unorganized as his parts are in other boxes and there are several manuals he has to read before he can start working. On the other hand, Mac boasts how simple and easy it is to just take your computer out of the box, plug it in and you’re good to go. As stated before, one single negative message is equal to five or more positive messages and this advertisement definitely pulls the negatives of PC into the spotlight. 2. Attractiveness of Mac Justin Long is shown as a more laid-back, “cooler” figure than John Hodgman, who represents PC. Again, this targets the audience by making them decide who they associate with best. Does the viewer want to be more like the hip and attractive Mac or the stiff and plump PC? The tactic of including attractiveness into the equation is another way to build brand loyalty subconsciously with the viewer. 3. Mac is shown as friendly and empathetic, PC is shown as an “aggressor” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=537MtiQk1uo. In this commercial PC is depicted as jealous and rude. The two must say something nice about each other, but PC is reluctant to do so and ends up insulting Mac in a petty, jealous fashion. Again, this portrays PC in a negative light and makes Mac seem like the character the viewer would rather be like.
4. PC is shown as being virus prone and Mac is shown as being virus free http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdF5IsyOxU4. The advertisement shows viewers that PC is more prone to viruses whereas Mac is always healthy. This attack stings the most because although the average consumer is not well versed in computer viruses, anyone can attest that he or she would not want a virus on their computer. The ad again rallies consumers to consider choosing a Mac over a PC because it is safer against viruses.
After implementing 21 ads in the first year of the campaign, the Get A Mac campaign accomplished its goal of influencing potential buyers and raised product sales significantly. At The third quarter Mac sales were closely watched for evidence of campaign effectiveness. At the end of July, Apple announced that it shipped 1.3 million Macs in the US for a 12 percent increase year-over-year. This is a major accomplishment as the sales showed a double digit growth over the quarter from when the first ads came out. The GAM campaign was partially responsible for Apple sales to go up 39 percent for the fiscal year which ended in September 2006. The GAM campaign has also won several awards, including “Best Ads of 2006” by the Wall Street Journal. The campaign also won the prestigious Effie Award in 2007 at the 39th Annual Effie Awards Ceremony, which honors “ideas that work.” More honor was bestowed upon the campaign as it was named “The Best Of The Decade” by AdWeek in 2010.
The Get A Mac campaign beat the odds by being able to present a campaign in which it is directly attacking its main competitor while still keeping a humble and classy air about the company. The combination of humor and wit made the campaign an instant success and even a cultural phenomenon. The ad campaign is entertaining and engaging which is what helped it reach such great success. Creating the personified characters allowed the viewers to associate with Mac more-so than PC and also made the information provided more enticing for potential customers to listen to. The consumer can really take away helpful information that may influence their purchasing habits the next time they are looking for a computer. The most important accomplishment of the Get A Mac campaign was the creation of identifiable characters that will forever be linked to Mac and PC. Being able to relate to a character is the best way to establish brand loyalty, and that is precisely what Apple has accomplished through the GAM campaign.
10 Best Get a Mac Parodies [VIDEOS] BYLINE: Amy-Mae Elliott LENGTH: 578 words May 25, 2010 (Mashable delivered by Newstex) --
As Apples Get a Mac ad campaign comes to a close, its the end of an era for a series that not only became Adweeks Ad Campaign of the Decade, but also became part of the public consciousness.
Whether youre a right clicka, or a MacBook flippa, we think youll enjoy our humorous collection of the best spoofs spawned from the four-year ad campaign. Lets just hope Apples next Mac-verts are as ripe with humor as this series was. Weve already rounded up the best of the Apple-produced ads and brought you a tribute. Heres a look at the best parodies and spoofs. 1. Novell Get a Mac Spoof Novell created three spoofs for its BrainShare conference back in 2007 and introduced a third character: The smart, attractive and ” gasp! ” female Linux, to the mix. 2. South Park Mac vs PC Created as the final project for a multimedia production class at California State University Northridge using South Park-ified versions of the ad characters, this amusing spoof has racked up a whopping 15 million YouTube views. Hit play to see why. 3. Mac Spoof: S This video from the TrueNuff comedy group is part of a series of sketches on the Get a Mac theme, taking a look at the darker side of computer ownership ” in this instance, a Macs lack of upgradability. 4. I Hate Mac Ads Another twist on the original here with some funny animation (Mac: Im the cool one, PCs the dumb one) in which we learn Macs are better because they’re shinier. Choice quotes include PCs great line: Stop looking at me with your stupid face. 5. Mac or PC Rap Music Video The Pantless Knights do here what they do best ” comedic songs ” with a musical take on Apples ad format. Genius lyrics and a catchy tune make this an instant classic in the agesold Mac versus PC war. No fight gets bigga, apparently. 6. Hi. Im a Mac. Greenpeace Apple Parody
While some of the claims are almost certainly outdated now, it was a clever move for Greenpeace to use Apples own ad format to raise awareness of the nasties that go into computer manufacturing. 7. Apple Mac vs PC Spoof Ad NeoFight also created a mini-series of Get a Mac parodies with this installment highlighting PCs stronger productivity skills and gaming abilities. Well, it was made in 2006. 8. PC vs Mac ” Money PC comes out on top in this spoof which sees Mac as a hip but dumb guy who can be easily fooled by a little bit of spreadsheet manipulation. 9. Mac Vs PC Overdub This super-simple clip uses footage from the original ads and delivers the message that œcomputers suck regardless of OS. Maybe they’ve got a point¦ 10. PC vs Mac Fight This doesnt follow the format of the ads, but it uses the characters, and its so funny we thought we could get away with including it. Mac and PC battle away, video game style, with some brilliant OS icon weaponry. Its worth watching if just for the clever character selection at the start.
Grothaus, Michael. “PC Tells Mac – Get A Mac Ads Might Be Done.” TUAW. April 8, 2010. This article mentions that the Get A Mac campaign won the Grand Effie Award in 2007 while also claiming the possible end to the beloved commercials. Justin Long responds to how he feels about the end of the campaign and says he will miss the commercials a lot, but he will miss working with his co-star, John Hodgman even more. Elliott, Amy-Mae. 10 Best Get A Mac Parodies. Mashable. May 25, 2010. This article posted by Mashable also mentions the campaign ending, gathers the greatest “spoofs” of the Get A Mac campaign, and acknowledges the public consciousness of such an impactful advertising campaign. Leonard, David. “Hey, PC, Who Taught You to Fight Back?” The New York Times. August 30, 2009. David Leonard compares the advertising strategies of Apple and Microsoft over the past 30 years. All in all, after both comparisons, the author says that the other advertising campaigns do not even compare to the significance and success of the Get A Mac campaign. Warren, Christina. “5 Of Our Favorite Ads.” Mashable. January 19, 2010. Mashable analyzes their favorite ads out of the 66 total as posted by AdWeek. The feature also comments on the fanaticism of Apple enthusiasts. Parr, Ben. Get A Mac v. Laptop Hunters: Which Are the Better Ads? Mashable.July 16, 2009.
This is a brief breakdown of the Mac v PC ads and Mashable then polls their followers on which they think is best. Mac had a lead over “PC”, “Both”, and “None”, with 56 % of the votes. Bohon, Cory. “New Get A Mac Ads After Laptop Hunters.” TUAW. April 19, 2009. Bohon discussed the implementation of new Get A Mac commercials immediately after the appearance of new Laptop Hunters commercials which signifies the competitive nature between the two ad campaigns and the resilience of Apple to create more ads.
Apple releases 4 new 'Get a Mac' ads
by Tom Krazit April 20, 2009 12:21 PM PDT
Apple released four new Get a Mac ads Monday, continuing its nearly 3-year-old campaign tweaking Windows PCs weeks after Microsoft began firing back at Apple. The new ads are available on Apple's Web site, and will no doubt flood the airwaves in due course. Apple is following its old playbook with the new spots, tweaking PC guy as played by John Hodgman as virus-prone (Conficker), unstable, and difficult to use. Microsoft's recent ads have focused on price comparisons with Macs, and Apple makes a brief reference to that line of thinking in the "Stacks" ad, in which Mac guy (Justin Long) responds to PC guy's observation that the facial-recognition technology in the new iPhoto must be expensive by noting that it comes free with every new Mac. But otherwise it's the same old strategy of pushing the Mac as an easier-to-use and more reliable computer, with few references to price. One new twist is that a controversy has already sprung up over some of the claims in the "Legal Copy" ad. MacJournals actually took the time to transcribe all the fine print that's overlaid on that ad, which PC Guy says is necessary for him to make claims such as "PCs are now 100 percent troublefree." Apple inserts a few slams at difficult-to-understand Windows components such as registry keys and virus-protection procedures, but also implies that some basic maintenance tips that apply to any computer, such as emptying the trash and downloading driver updates, are unique to the PC.
It's unlikely anyone watching the ad will actually be able to read the entire fine print as the ad whizzes by, but Apple has to be careful about how it advertises the Mac as "trouble-free," since when problems or confusion do occur with Mac OS X, customers can get disproportionately annoyed. Still, the campaign's message seems to have had an impact over the past three years. While there's definitely something to be said for the "ain't broke, don't fix it" strategy, at some point Apple will need fresh ideas if Microsoft continues to hammer away with its own anti-Mac campaign.
Problems with the Mac promised land
by Tom Krazit December 5, 2007 4:00 AM PST I've definitely learned something in recent weeks about reacting to the inevitable problems that will happen in life--how it can be possible to turn a problem into a huge opportunity, but also how a problem can become an even bigger problem overnight with neglect. Perhaps it was inevitable for Apple this year, as the nearly unprecedented iPhone hype from this summer was followed by a surge in Mac shipments. Peeved by their experiences upgrading to Leopard, some high-profile Apple customers have taken to the Internet in recent weeks to complain, suggesting that Apple is leading them on with the brand promise of the Mac. It's never clear in the early going exactly how many people as a whole run into problems with Macs, since things get quickly blown out of proportion under the intense scrutiny paid to Apple. But the basic complaint seems to be: this ain't what we thought it would be. Buggy upgrades? Security issues? This is why we switched to the Mac in the first place, right? That's the image Apple wants people of have of the Mac: the anti-Windows. The clever Mac vs. PC commercials underscore that promise, pointing out some of the early problems with Windows Vista and smugly implying that Macs are free from such frustrations. The problem is that's simply not true. Mac owners will encounter problems during the life of the product, maybe not as many as Windows owners, but frustrating, on-hold-with-tech-support types of problems will happen. Apple sets itself up for this kind of backlash with a holier-thanWindows marketing strategy if people run into some of the very problems they are trying to escape, such as blue screens of death. But how big a problem is this? My friend Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates, back when we were trying to figure out if Microsoft and Intel had a chance at selling Windows Media Center PCs as digital living room hubs (they didn't), used to always note that people expect and are willing to tolerate a certain amount of "funk" from a PC. Basically, people are so used to encountering problems with Windows PCs that they have sort of gotten used to it, and while it's a hassle it's just part of using a PC.
But try taking away their TV. The consumer electronics industry tries to make simpler products that turn on instantly and don't require updated virus definitions or defragmenting or task management. They just work, and people aren't willing to tolerate anything less than a consumer electronics product that just works. I've put up with lots of PC issues over the years, but when the right half of my brand-new HDTV went snow white an hour into Boston College's first football game of the year, I was on the phone and livid in seconds. (Looking back, perhaps it was an omen.) Apple has been trying to pitch the Mac as a consumer electronics device that "just works," against a Windows PC that sort of works. In general, I agree that Apple's attempt to set the bar higher and set itself apart from its Windows competitors is an excellent goal; most people would agree that competition makes for better business. The trouble is, the Mac is still just a computer, and it's often subject to some of the same weirdness from time to time as Windows PCs. If Apple really wants to roll out its entire Mac ad campaign as a comparative exercise with the competition, it had better offer a much, much better experience; not just in terms of features and appearance, but with installation, troubleshooting, and support. That last part is where the opportunity comes in. Back in 2005, a blogger named Jeff Jarvis started chronicling his harrowing experiences with Dell's PCs and customer service. Jarvis' goal was to cajole Dell into admitting that it had no idea of the scope of the customer service problems, which the company failed to do until it was really too late. At the end of Jarvis' saga, he gave in to pressure from his readers and bought a Powerbook. To his credit, he realized right away that simply switching to Apple wasn't going to eliminate every computer hassle he'd ever encountered. "It feels like moving to Paris and not speaking French (though it sure is pretty there). There is as much illogic in part of the Mac world as in the Microsoft world," he wrote in 2005. Not every new Apple customer is going to reach that conclusion. They are probably people who have had at least one or two Windows computers and many of them see the Mac as the answer to all their computer problems, even some who should probably know better. If Apple fails to deliver that experience, those people might wonder what all the hype was about, and react as disproportionately as they did assuming Apple was the Answer. And long-time customers might feel slighted that in Apple's pursuit of new markets such as the iPod and the iPhone, they've let the fundamentals deteriorate. Although Apple's customer service scores are still the best in the industry, they did slip last year. But any company can win customers for life if the first time they run into a problem with your product, you fix it quickly. The lesson from Dell's experience is that you can't let these customer service problems stagnate. Apple has a unique opportunity to act quickly on its customers' concerns because it controls the way its customers experience its products much more closely than any of its PC competitors.
Think about it: Dell and Hewlett-Packard do Microsoft's customer support. Best Buy and Circuit City sell HP and Acer's products. That's customer behavior information that has to pass through several different companies, and that can be difficult even if everybody has excellent working relationships. If you're going to turn a problem into an opportunity, you have to be honest and up front with your customers about the scope of the problem, and act quickly--especially if they bought your product because you promised it was so much better than the other option. As I pointed out, Apple's customer satisfaction numbers are generally better than its competitors, but it will be interesting to see how those numbers change as the company adds new users on new products, such as the redesigned iMacs. I have to admit, though, all this complaining about the brand promise of the Mac does make me laugh to a certain degree. Have you people ever seen a commercial before? After a long investigation, I've also discovered that ladies won't necessarily flock to you as you walk down the street wearing Axe Body Spray, you shouldn't expect your Toyota Tacoma pickup to survive an encounter with the Loch Ness Monster, and switching to Salesgenie.com might not ensure that you can bring your cute 4-year-old daughter two new puppies with all the money you're now making.
Analysis of Media Coverage:
The “Get a Mac” campaign undoubtedly caught media attention with its bold claims to be a “trouble-free” computer that eliminates virtually all problems that PCs might present. While Apple disseminated various reasons to the media and public as to why it is superior to PC, other media sources viewed the campaign more objectively. They noticed how effective the campaign was, while also realizing that the campaign was very one-sided and did not address that Apple products are not always necessarily trouble-free, even though problems arise less frequently than in PCs. According to Apple, upgrading to Mac is making the ultimate upgrade. “Why get a new PC and just upgrade your computer, when you can get a Mac and upgrade your entire computer experience?” claims Apple. Apple claims that Macs are designed to be better computers, and will last because they are as reliable as they are beautiful. Apple also claims that Mac comes with
software customers will love to use. Unlike PC, Mac comes fully equipped with software users need to send e-mail, manage calendars, and organize contacts right away. Another reason why Mac is superior to PC is that Mac comes with the world’s most advanced operating system. Every Mac comes with easy to learn software that is fun to use. Each Mac is built on OS X Lion, which is custom-made for advanced technology. Yet another claim by Apple is that Macs come with award-winning support. Apple makes the Mac and the software inside, and all support questions can be directed to Apple itself, either by calling AppleCare or by visiting an Apple Store. Additional reasons why Apple claims Mac is the best computer include that It runs Office and works with your existing PC files, it’s compatible with your stuff, it doesn’t get PC viruses, it’s loaded with the latest technology, and it runs Windows and Windows applications. Media sources, however, give a broader perspective of the campaign. An article entitled “Apple releases 4 new ‘Get a Mac’ ads” describes the new ads released in 2009 that continued to highlight the casual yet confident nature of Mac compared to the virus-prone and unreliable tendencies of PC. Rather than merely focusing on Apple’s campaign, this article also references Microsoft’s ads that address issues such as the price difference between the two companies, which Apple ads generally do not address. The article acknowledges that the Apple campaign has made an impact over the past few years, but that Apple will need a fresh set of ideas if Microsoft continues its anti-Mac campaign. Another article entitled “Problems with the Mac promised land” addresses the Mac promise of “trouble-free” devices that avoid “buggy” upgrades and security issues, and the intense scrutiny paid to Apple when problems do arise. The article acknowledges that the “Get a Mac” campaign points out such problems with Windows Vista, while underscoring that Mac does not have these problems and frustrations. The article recognizes that Macs are bound to
have “frustrating, on-hold-with-tech-support types of problems” throughout the life of a product, even if these problems occur at a lesser volume than that of Windows. The article suggests that Apple’s marketing strategy essentially sets it up for backlash from customers when problems do arise. Mac is still just a computer, and it is subject to problems from time to time. In order for Mac to make the claim that it is a no-hassle, trouble-free product, it should offer a much better experience, in terms of features, appearance, installation, troubleshooting, and support. Essentially, while media sources tend to agree that the “Get a Mac” campaign is a clever and direct way to appeal to the public and present a superior image over PC, the campaign implies that Mac is perfect, omitting the truth that problems can occur with Apple products, merely at a lesser rate than with PCs. This causes Mac users to be upset at a much greater proportion when their products fail, compared to PC users who expect problems from time to time.
Interview with PR Professional
Joan Denenberg Denenberg Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Denenberg is the founder and CEO of Denenberg Communications, a private company specializing in marketing consulting. Denenberg Communications is a highly specialized marketing firm which develops professional programs and special events for shopping centers, downtown districts, real estate developers, and retailers. Denenberg is a graduate of Boston University with a BA in Communications and has been working in marketing and communications for 36 years.
What do you feel the overall goal of the Get-A-Mac Campaign was? Mac has been the leading technology brand for many years, however in 2006/2007 PC was still a top competitor and I feel that Apple’s goal in this campaign was to put an end to PC popularity. We all know that Microsoft was invented first and was the premiere innovator in technology before Apple came along. I feel that the goal of this campaign was to imprint on the
minds of young people that Mac is “cooler” than PC. Justin long personifies that “cool factor” that young people strive for and shows that choosing Mac will make you “cool.”
Do you feel the tactics implemented led to the achievement of this goal? Absolutely. Mac uses comedy, creativity, and celebrity personalities to enforce their campaign. They implemented numerous commercials to reinforce the characters and eventually created cultural icons! Thanks to the “Get-A-Mac” Campaign, the general public associates the PC character as slow, old, and “out-of-style” and the Mac character as the cool and hip new thing that everybody needs.
Apple received some scrutiny that it was openly attacking Microsoft. As a Public Relations professional, do you believe that Apple’s commercials were in pursuit of defamation of PC? I feel that Mac took a big risk by including PC, their direct competitor, in their commercials, but I feel that overall the messages produced carried more humor than controversy. Apple didn’t take any strides to cover up the fact that they were directly targeting PC, but this is exactly what made the campaign so successful. They targeted people who were unsure of which brand to pick and convinced them to buy a Mac. This is obviously the end result any company would hope for.
Do you feel that Apple would have such a strong brand presence now, in 2011, without the implementation of the “Get-A-Mac” campaign? Apple has been a brand with a large following ever since their super-bowl commercial in the 80’s. But yes, the “Get-A-Mac” campaign definitely made it “cool” to own a Mac. This
campaign made it seem like the consumer needed a Mac because everything else is obsolete, and it worked. Mac will always have its loyal followers, but they definitely succeeded in roping in new patrons through this campaign.
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Bulik, Beth. (31 July 2006.) Yes They Do Like Them Apples (Macs, That Is). Advertising Age, Vol 77 Issue 31.
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Livingstone, Randall (07/01/2011). "Better at Life Stuff: Consumption, Identity, and Class in Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign.". The Journal of communication inquiry (0196-8599), 35 (3), p. 210.
Livingstone, Randall (07/01/2011). "Better at Life Stuff: Consumption, Identity, and Class in Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign.". The Journal of communication inquiry (0196-8599), 35 (3), p. 210.
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