The brand promise of Apple

This is an Apple ad:

Done by Apple. More on that later.

So, last night I was out to dinner with a bunch of smart people. Folks who run their own companies. Folks who have helped many companies get started. Tech companies.

Of course people started talking about my Apple problems. Everyone at the table is a Macintosh user. What was fun is that at one point people started telling me about the problems they have had with their Macs. Many with far more serious problems than I have had.

I tried to turn on my video camera. They all instantly shut up and said “no video.”

Why not?

I dug a little more. It was because they all blamed themselves for the problems of their Macs and I think they also bought into the “Apple cult” which says that if you use a Mac you must be cool. Heck, look at that ad again. Who is cool? Not the PC user.

Now THAT is “brand promise.”

We believe Apple’s marketing so deeply that we aren’t willing to question it.

And then there’s something else. Apple has an ARMY of people who are anonymous who will come and call you every name in the book. I know. They hit yesterday here. I deleted them all, but, dozens, if not hundreds, of comments calling me every name in the book.

They hit over on Andy Beal’s site too. He got tired and just closed the comment thread over there.

The common thing about most of these comments is that it’s MY FAULT that my Apple machine is having trouble.

See, on my Windows machine I’m willing to accept this. After all, I know that Microsoft can’t really test every combination of hardware out there. My Windows machines can take dozens, if not hundreds, of different video cards, sound cards, hard drives, memory configurations, etc. The thing is on my Mac I didn’t load any third-party RAM — Apple’s brand promise is that you never will need to open your box to customize it. Heck, the iPhone goes further. You CAN’T customize it and if you try you have to “break” into it. I’ve never opened the box, or tried to do some weird stuff. I’m even pretty protective about what I load on this system. Why? Cause my world has moved to the Internet and browser-based apps. No need to install tons of software like I used to on my Windows boxes.

I watch that video over and over again and I get really pissed.

Pissed enough to say “screw you Apple” all over again.

Some of you (hi Fake Steve Jobs) misunderstood my point about Apple PR’s not wanting to give me free or loaner hardware. See, I know Apple sends free or loaner hardware to certain journalists. But only those it deems “important.” Steven Levy. Walt Mossberg. Those types. They got iPhones two weeks before those of us who were “unimportant” could BUY them in the stores.

The point isn’t that I want free (er loaned) hardware. It’s that Apple uses that free hardware to MANUFACTURE the “myth” of Apple as being great, and good, and “cool.” Also, if these guys want to get more free or loaner Apple hardware before the rest of us they need to make sure not to point out too many flaws in it. Yeah, they can point out a few, but they know they got picked because they generally write pro-Apple stuff. It’s a reason why I don’t want free stuff and why I waited in line to be among the first in the Valley to have my own iPhone.

Again. Brand promise of Apple. Only those who will give Apple a fair shake will get the goods. When Fake Steve Jobs says I’ll never get invited to another Apple press conference again he isn’t too far from the truth! Retribution is a bitch.

UPDATE: That’s not totally fair on my part. I know these journalists will report when they are sent something that doesn’t do what it promises. I need to correct this post. The journalists don’t get free products that they get to keep (most of the times). They do send them back. I’m sorry to the journalists who I made this point about. Walt Mossberg has an ethics statement where he talks about this.

UPDATE 2: Ryan Block, who writes for Engadget, has a good set of replies to my claims above.

It’s the brand promise of Apple. You will have to BUY your Apple after those “famous journalists” get to use one for free for two weeks and you vil like it. Oh, and you’ll beg to be let into a Steve Jobs keynote because you vil want to sit at the feet of Jobs and drool on the floor like the idiot blogger you are.

Just remember the brand promise of Apple, OK?

1. If your machine behaves badly it’s your fault.
2. Any idiot can use an Apple machine (that’s what they tell you before you buy one) but if your machine crashes then you must be a “genius” to fix it (they have bars at stores now where you can “borrow” a genius, but only after waiting in line — my son twice has been turned away from genius bars because they were too busy and was told to “come back tomorrow at 10 a.m.”). Oh, and if you are having problems at 10 p.m., and dare tell people on your blog about your problems you’ll get tons of abuse back “how DARE you be an Apple user and not know you needed to flash your PRAM.” Translation: any idiot can use a Mac, but not really.
3. If you dare complain about the brand promise you’ll get pounced on by hoardes of annonymous astroturfing Apple FanBois.
4. If you don’t get the brand promise of Apple don’t attempt to point out that the ads are ridiculous. Instead, just leave the cult and go back to using that “inferior” machine you used to use.
5. Check out my new Mac, with its cool brushed metal surface and the light-up Apple logo.
6. If you use an Apple machine you will be as cool as Kevin Rose.

Baratunde has it right when he says “I hate the smugness of Apple.”

Oh, and to the guy who says I’m a Microsoft shill. You better check your facts there. Over the past year I’ve spent more than $10,000 on Apple products of MY OWN MONEY and if you include the machines I’ve bought for PodTech, I’ve spent more than $20,000. Not to mention my son and I spent two days in line waiting for our iPhones. Now if THAT is what you call “shilling for Microsoft” I wonder what “shilling for Apple would look like?”

I guess I just am not cool enough to like my Mac. I’m back on my Sony Vaio, which has never crashed the way my Mac did the other night. It also never has needed to have its memory and graphics controller replaced the way my Mac did. And its USB ports work, unlike those on my son’s computer. But it decidedly isn’t cool.

It doesn’t come with the brand promise of Apple.

Oh, and back to that ad at the top of my blog? Have you ever met the PR guy for Microsoft? That’s Frank Shaw. A really nice guy. He even has a blog (idiot! — Apple hires all the “cool” PR people and they never will do a blog) Who does PR for Apple? Katie Cotton. She’s a LOT closer to the PR lady in that video above, which is TOTALLY ironic — watch this video again and compare to the ad above. Brilliant marketing.

416 thoughts on “The brand promise of Apple

  1. Sorry for the followup – I see someone else made a similar point above (ex2bot). The one hting I would say is that I just looked at CU’s laptop reliability index, and saw that the best company rated a 20, and Apple a 23, but that they specifically say that 3 points is within the margin of error, so means not significantly different.

    Tough for me to figure out what that really means, without better understanding what sorts of issues they were judging. If it is hardware failure rate, I would expect Apple hard drives, for example, to fail at the same rate as Dell’s, since they are essentially the same. If it includes things like system freezes, driver issues, etc., then it may well suggest that, in this survey, they were statistically indistinguishable.

    d

  2. Sorry for the followup – I see someone else made a similar point above (ex2bot). The one hting I would say is that I just looked at CU’s laptop reliability index, and saw that the best company rated a 20, and Apple a 23, but that they specifically say that 3 points is within the margin of error, so means not significantly different.

    Tough for me to figure out what that really means, without better understanding what sorts of issues they were judging. If it is hardware failure rate, I would expect Apple hard drives, for example, to fail at the same rate as Dell’s, since they are essentially the same. If it includes things like system freezes, driver issues, etc., then it may well suggest that, in this survey, they were statistically indistinguishable.

    d

  3. Good heavens – such a fuss.

    Mr. Scoble – I understand your frustration with having a computer that does not behave properly. That said, it seems that you would be savvy enough to realize that anecdotal evidence based on one user’s experience (or even two, if you include your son) is not enough to either prove or disprove Apple’s marketing claims.

    For example – I once owned a Chevy Vega, and it gave me no problems at all during the years I owned it. I know a guy with a Toyota pickup that gave him no end of problems, and he ended up having to return it using CA’s lemon law. Based on that, would I claim that Chevy’s are more reliable than Toyotas? Would he be right to complain about how Toyota’s claims of reliability are a farce and how dare they be so smug about reliability when he had issues X, Y, and Z?

    It is pure silliness to use anecdotal evidence like that to try and support a position, at least if you want it to be defensible. It is the old “but I have an uncle who smoked every day and lived to be 100, so smoking isn’t bad!” argument.

    THAT is how I would say your article saps just a bit of your credibility – I find it tough to believe that you don’t understand the issues with anecdotal evidence, which leads me to believe that you do, but in your anger you chose to ignore it. My suspicion is that you were simply angry, and lashed out – fine, I have been angry with Apple (and Commodore and Dell, when I had problems with their respective machines), but it does seem a little silly to build such a broad argument based on such little evidence.

    Drew

  4. Good heavens – such a fuss.

    Mr. Scoble – I understand your frustration with having a computer that does not behave properly. That said, it seems that you would be savvy enough to realize that anecdotal evidence based on one user’s experience (or even two, if you include your son) is not enough to either prove or disprove Apple’s marketing claims.

    For example – I once owned a Chevy Vega, and it gave me no problems at all during the years I owned it. I know a guy with a Toyota pickup that gave him no end of problems, and he ended up having to return it using CA’s lemon law. Based on that, would I claim that Chevy’s are more reliable than Toyotas? Would he be right to complain about how Toyota’s claims of reliability are a farce and how dare they be so smug about reliability when he had issues X, Y, and Z?

    It is pure silliness to use anecdotal evidence like that to try and support a position, at least if you want it to be defensible. It is the old “but I have an uncle who smoked every day and lived to be 100, so smoking isn’t bad!” argument.

    THAT is how I would say your article saps just a bit of your credibility – I find it tough to believe that you don’t understand the issues with anecdotal evidence, which leads me to believe that you do, but in your anger you chose to ignore it. My suspicion is that you were simply angry, and lashed out – fine, I have been angry with Apple (and Commodore and Dell, when I had problems with their respective machines), but it does seem a little silly to build such a broad argument based on such little evidence.

    Drew

  5. The rant at the top of the page is such an incoherent bash that it had to be there just to bump up page hits. The Dvorak approach.

  6. The rant at the top of the page is such an incoherent bash that it had to be there just to bump up page hits. The Dvorak approach.

  7. This summer I finally convinced my employer to switch all of our office computers over to Macs, after a summer of hell with the gravely corrupted PCs we were running. I have been a devoted Mac user for over fifteen years without issue. They’re worth every penny, and you PC users can keep trying to imitate the Mac OS (ie Vista) but why not just go with the real thing?

  8. This summer I finally convinced my employer to switch all of our office computers over to Macs, after a summer of hell with the gravely corrupted PCs we were running. I have been a devoted Mac user for over fifteen years without issue. They’re worth every penny, and you PC users can keep trying to imitate the Mac OS (ie Vista) but why not just go with the real thing?

  9. In retort, I am not an “unthinking / unquestioning loyalist”. I have actively used Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, and Vista, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Mac OS X. I am not unquestioning or unthinking, but rather informed and knowledgeable. There are many fanboys out there, but I take offense to being called one. I use Apple’s products with confidence, because that is all that they have ever given me to expect. Windows, on the other hand, is almost a polar opposite. Not one of my experiences with the company, their products, or their support has ever led me to take confidence in them.

  10. In retort, I am not an “unthinking / unquestioning loyalist”. I have actively used Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, and Vista, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Mac OS X. I am not unquestioning or unthinking, but rather informed and knowledgeable. There are many fanboys out there, but I take offense to being called one. I use Apple’s products with confidence, because that is all that they have ever given me to expect. Windows, on the other hand, is almost a polar opposite. Not one of my experiences with the company, their products, or their support has ever led me to take confidence in them.

  11. Let’s give the unthinking / unquestioning loyalists a name — Apple Scruffs, a term George Harrison coined for the groupies who hung outside his studio. (Song’s on All Things Must Pass… you can download it off of iTunes ;-)

  12. Let’s give the unthinking / unquestioning loyalists a name — Apple Scruffs, a term George Harrison coined for the groupies who hung outside his studio. (Song’s on All Things Must Pass… you can download it off of iTunes ;-)

  13. With response to “g” and others, Apple is by no means “moving towards Windows.” Apple invented the multitude of ideas incorporated into Vista and other Operating Systems, and CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT be labeled as “moving towards Windows.” It is ironic that so many Windows fanboys are deemed suitable on a blog, while any Mac fanboys or enthusiasts are quickly hushed or removed.

    I own a MacBook, and switched from a buggy PC that I used for years only two months ago, and I could not be happier. The stability incorporated into the new Mac OS X release “Leopard” is astonishing, and was well worth the $129. I purchased Vista Ultimate in excess of $250 for my PC, and was instantly throttled by restrictions due to older hardware, making the PC incapable of even installing the new OS. A computer two years old should have no problem performing in newer operating systems, as Apple has so readily understood. My PC had 512 MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and other statistics which should have easily allowed it to run Vista. But alas, such was not true. Apple computers from five or more years ago are capable of running Leopard, many without ANY problems.

    I posted the history about my computer usage to illustrate the horrific point of Ryan Block, who writes for Engadget. His main source for his utter hatred of Apple and their products comes from his own experiences. Well from my experiences, as well as those from many, many satisfied Mac owners, Apple is almost god-like in comparison to Microsoft in terms of customer satisfaction, customer service, and reliability.

    Everything I say is not due to my “love” for Apple, but rather my own experiences, and Apple’s commitment to excellence. I am not a “fanboy”, but this post will probably still be erased.

  14. With response to “g” and others, Apple is by no means “moving towards Windows.” Apple invented the multitude of ideas incorporated into Vista and other Operating Systems, and CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT be labeled as “moving towards Windows.” It is ironic that so many Windows fanboys are deemed suitable on a blog, while any Mac fanboys or enthusiasts are quickly hushed or removed.

    I own a MacBook, and switched from a buggy PC that I used for years only two months ago, and I could not be happier. The stability incorporated into the new Mac OS X release “Leopard” is astonishing, and was well worth the $129. I purchased Vista Ultimate in excess of $250 for my PC, and was instantly throttled by restrictions due to older hardware, making the PC incapable of even installing the new OS. A computer two years old should have no problem performing in newer operating systems, as Apple has so readily understood. My PC had 512 MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and other statistics which should have easily allowed it to run Vista. But alas, such was not true. Apple computers from five or more years ago are capable of running Leopard, many without ANY problems.

    I posted the history about my computer usage to illustrate the horrific point of Ryan Block, who writes for Engadget. His main source for his utter hatred of Apple and their products comes from his own experiences. Well from my experiences, as well as those from many, many satisfied Mac owners, Apple is almost god-like in comparison to Microsoft in terms of customer satisfaction, customer service, and reliability.

    Everything I say is not due to my “love” for Apple, but rather my own experiences, and Apple’s commitment to excellence. I am not a “fanboy”, but this post will probably still be erased.

  15. It amazes and saddens me that people base impressions of hardware reliability on affiliation or website forum posts. Doesn’t anyone take logic 101 anymore?

    What do you need to be able to tell if Apple hardware is more or less reliable than, say, Dell? You need nothing less than a properly run research.

    The PC World / PC Mag / Consumer Reports reliability surveys have consistently shown Apple’s desktop and laptop* reliability to be #1 (or #2 to IBM). All others’ reliability (in the surveys) were worse.

    No emotion, no “my sister had a crappy machine so that brand sucks”, no “the company has sassy / unbelievable / “lifestyle” commercials, no “Ooh, that company rubs me the WRONG WAY!” No. Research. And those reliability surveys are the best we have.

    Is human intelligence an oxymoron? Now, I’m human too, so I’m not excepting myself here. But come on! Oh, wait! I’m not human. I’m robot.

    Bot
    human-like electronic transactor with solid logic

    * I read a summary of the latest CU survey and apparently Apple’s laptop reliability has slipped. I don’t know the full details. Check it out if you’re interested.

  16. It amazes and saddens me that people base impressions of hardware reliability on affiliation or website forum posts. Doesn’t anyone take logic 101 anymore?

    What do you need to be able to tell if Apple hardware is more or less reliable than, say, Dell? You need nothing less than a properly run research.

    The PC World / PC Mag / Consumer Reports reliability surveys have consistently shown Apple’s desktop and laptop* reliability to be #1 (or #2 to IBM). All others’ reliability (in the surveys) were worse.

    No emotion, no “my sister had a crappy machine so that brand sucks”, no “the company has sassy / unbelievable / “lifestyle” commercials, no “Ooh, that company rubs me the WRONG WAY!” No. Research. And those reliability surveys are the best we have.

    Is human intelligence an oxymoron? Now, I’m human too, so I’m not excepting myself here. But come on! Oh, wait! I’m not human. I’m robot.

    Bot
    human-like electronic transactor with solid logic

    * I read a summary of the latest CU survey and apparently Apple’s laptop reliability has slipped. I don’t know the full details. Check it out if you’re interested.

  17. the funny thing is that The Mac is actually moving toward Windows.
    Wasn’t Apple ironic about the thousands of dialog boxes in Vista? With Leopard, now they have too.
    Same thing with bugs. Few days after Leopard was out some clever people discovered that all Macs had suffered a major bug for years. And don’t try to say that Apple is smart because rushed a major update in 20 days, because that makes things even worse.
    The story is, when you grow on user base, like Apple does, you have to face problems that you didn’t have before and you need to pay more attention on what you’re doing BEFORE you do it.

  18. the funny thing is that The Mac is actually moving toward Windows.
    Wasn’t Apple ironic about the thousands of dialog boxes in Vista? With Leopard, now they have too.
    Same thing with bugs. Few days after Leopard was out some clever people discovered that all Macs had suffered a major bug for years. And don’t try to say that Apple is smart because rushed a major update in 20 days, because that makes things even worse.
    The story is, when you grow on user base, like Apple does, you have to face problems that you didn’t have before and you need to pay more attention on what you’re doing BEFORE you do it.

  19. >a windows user will allways stay a windows user…that’s who you are scoble!

    Hah, in 1977 I was an Apple II user (all the way until the mid 1980s). That was my first computer. I grew up a mile or so from Apple computer in Cupertino. I was a member of the first computer club at Hyde Jr. High, where I helped unbox the first computers used there. Got a tour of Apple when it was one building, too.

    Then I got into Macs from 1988 through 1993.

    Then Windows NT converted me to the Microsoft side of the house where I stayed until last year. Now I use both Macs and Windows machines (and Linux once in a while).

    Steve Wozniak gave me $40,000 in college to buy Macs for our journalism department back in 1989.

    So, if anything, I’m an Apple fanboi more than a Windows one.

  20. >a windows user will allways stay a windows user…that’s who you are scoble!

    Hah, in 1977 I was an Apple II user (all the way until the mid 1980s). That was my first computer. I grew up a mile or so from Apple computer in Cupertino. I was a member of the first computer club at Hyde Jr. High, where I helped unbox the first computers used there. Got a tour of Apple when it was one building, too.

    Then I got into Macs from 1988 through 1993.

    Then Windows NT converted me to the Microsoft side of the house where I stayed until last year. Now I use both Macs and Windows machines (and Linux once in a while).

    Steve Wozniak gave me $40,000 in college to buy Macs for our journalism department back in 1989.

    So, if anything, I’m an Apple fanboi more than a Windows one.

  21. I haven’t enjoyed your posts in quite a long time, but I must say, you’ve absolutely nailed it on this one. BRILLIANT!

  22. I haven’t enjoyed your posts in quite a long time, but I must say, you’ve absolutely nailed it on this one. BRILLIANT!

  23. OK, this is really silly. The brand promise of Apple is that things will work more smoothly than with a Windows machine, and having extensively used both varieties of PC, they do deliver on it. “More smoothly” isn’t perfect.

    You did get pounced on because you dared to question Apple, you got pounced on because your criticism was silly. Your complaint with Apple was that your computer wasn’t working right. The end. It wasn’t “and when I called tech support, they gave me the runaround” or anything like that; you had a problem and you started screeching “screw you, screw you.” Why should anybody take that seriously?

    It’s pretty funny that you characterize your post in such neutral terms as “writing about it on your blog.” Go back and read what you wrote. If you had written, “My Mac is doing X, I’m really frustrated,” you probably would have gotten a lot of comments suggesting fixes. You threw a tantrum instead, and people reacted to the tantrum. Big surprise.

    I don’t know you, and I would never assume that someone’s writing gives you a clear picture of their personality, but in that particular post you came across as a brat with poor impulse control. Sorry. And the “plus I don’t get free stuff” just played right into that.

    We all have those moments when we rant, and blogs make it all too easy to make them part of our permanent record; the mature thing to do is take responsibility for what we write, even at our worst moments. You might consider it.

  24. Scoble, here the issue is not about technology, it’s about sociology.

    Strip apart everything, and you’ll have an Apple machine and a PC machine, in other words, two PCs.
    And that’s all. One could be better for some tasks and in some fields, and the other in other tasks and other fields.
    And that’s all.

    Both have bugs, since everything in this world is bugged. Both need repair and little fixed here and there.

    The most important thing here is that YOU HAVE CHOICE. I could choose OS X, Windows or Linux three top-tier OSes and enjoy them all. Since this is the ONLY difference between an Apple PC and any other PC.

    So, in my very humble opinion, I’ll suggest just one thing to you Scoble: please don’t fall on the opposite extremism. Fanboys are fanboys and that attitude is bad wherever you say “Love Apple”, “Love MS”, “Love Linux” or “Hate” variant.

    We have emotions and it’s GOOD, so we hate and love. But we could keep emotions AND balance. ;)

  25. OK, this is really silly. The brand promise of Apple is that things will work more smoothly than with a Windows machine, and having extensively used both varieties of PC, they do deliver on it. “More smoothly” isn’t perfect.

    You did get pounced on because you dared to question Apple, you got pounced on because your criticism was silly. Your complaint with Apple was that your computer wasn’t working right. The end. It wasn’t “and when I called tech support, they gave me the runaround” or anything like that; you had a problem and you started screeching “screw you, screw you.” Why should anybody take that seriously?

    It’s pretty funny that you characterize your post in such neutral terms as “writing about it on your blog.” Go back and read what you wrote. If you had written, “My Mac is doing X, I’m really frustrated,” you probably would have gotten a lot of comments suggesting fixes. You threw a tantrum instead, and people reacted to the tantrum. Big surprise.

    I don’t know you, and I would never assume that someone’s writing gives you a clear picture of their personality, but in that particular post you came across as a brat with poor impulse control. Sorry. And the “plus I don’t get free stuff” just played right into that.

    We all have those moments when we rant, and blogs make it all too easy to make them part of our permanent record; the mature thing to do is take responsibility for what we write, even at our worst moments. You might consider it.

  26. Scoble, here the issue is not about technology, it’s about sociology.

    Strip apart everything, and you’ll have an Apple machine and a PC machine, in other words, two PCs.
    And that’s all. One could be better for some tasks and in some fields, and the other in other tasks and other fields.
    And that’s all.

    Both have bugs, since everything in this world is bugged. Both need repair and little fixed here and there.

    The most important thing here is that YOU HAVE CHOICE. I could choose OS X, Windows or Linux three top-tier OSes and enjoy them all. Since this is the ONLY difference between an Apple PC and any other PC.

    So, in my very humble opinion, I’ll suggest just one thing to you Scoble: please don’t fall on the opposite extremism. Fanboys are fanboys and that attitude is bad wherever you say “Love Apple”, “Love MS”, “Love Linux” or “Hate” variant.

    We have emotions and it’s GOOD, so we hate and love. But we could keep emotions AND balance. ;)

  27. There’s a background story here on the advertising story you may not be aware of. Lee Clow, the Creative Director of Chiat/Day, Apple’s advertising agency, has always done ‘rebellious’ advertising. From a regular-joe working class background, and very much an advertising outsider by being from the West Coast rather than the bluebloods who ran the NYC agencies, he has consistently defined the brands he has worked on as the underdog, the choice of the new generation, etc. His advertising agency used to fly a pirate flag over the building. It is his entire MO, and it was the technique he used to burst onto the natioanl adland scene in the 1980′s with brands like West Coast Cooler and more. Prior to the work of him and Hal Riney in SF, all advertising was done out of NYC. His ’1984′ Apple ad was the ‘ne plus ultra’ of this ‘rebeltising’.

    In the mid-90′s, after Jobs left Apple, Chiat/Day was released from its contract, and the advertising became duller, more ‘beige-box and price’ in the Amelio years. When Jobs came back, he reinstated Chiat/Day and put Clow back on the job, resulting immediately in the ‘Think Different’ campaign. another campaign that placed the brand in the ‘challenger/underdog/smarter choice’ category.

    Perhaps your problem lies more with Lee Clow’s vision of the Apple brand than anything.

  28. There’s a background story here on the advertising story you may not be aware of. Lee Clow, the Creative Director of Chiat/Day, Apple’s advertising agency, has always done ‘rebellious’ advertising. From a regular-joe working class background, and very much an advertising outsider by being from the West Coast rather than the bluebloods who ran the NYC agencies, he has consistently defined the brands he has worked on as the underdog, the choice of the new generation, etc. His advertising agency used to fly a pirate flag over the building. It is his entire MO, and it was the technique he used to burst onto the natioanl adland scene in the 1980′s with brands like West Coast Cooler and more. Prior to the work of him and Hal Riney in SF, all advertising was done out of NYC. His ’1984′ Apple ad was the ‘ne plus ultra’ of this ‘rebeltising’.

    In the mid-90′s, after Jobs left Apple, Chiat/Day was released from its contract, and the advertising became duller, more ‘beige-box and price’ in the Amelio years. When Jobs came back, he reinstated Chiat/Day and put Clow back on the job, resulting immediately in the ‘Think Different’ campaign. another campaign that placed the brand in the ‘challenger/underdog/smarter choice’ category.

    Perhaps your problem lies more with Lee Clow’s vision of the Apple brand than anything.

  29. For most people like myself using apple products like a mac or an iphone is not some philosophical journey but rather just using products that look really good and work really well! Your article does not apply to the vast majority of consumers.

    For example, I love my iphone. I have been doing almost all of my email on my phone instead on on the computer. It stopped charging properly after several months. I made an appointment at the “genius” bar in an apple store and brought the phone in. They took a look at it and exchanged it for a new one on the spot!!!!

    Before my iphone I had a treo. When that phone stopped working correctly I was stuck. The store where I bought it did nothing for me and I was unable to exchange it. I just had to keep using it even though I had to charge it twice a day.

    That is one of the big differences between apple and other companies. Apple took care of my problem and actually seemed to care!

  30. For most people like myself using apple products like a mac or an iphone is not some philosophical journey but rather just using products that look really good and work really well! Your article does not apply to the vast majority of consumers.

    For example, I love my iphone. I have been doing almost all of my email on my phone instead on on the computer. It stopped charging properly after several months. I made an appointment at the “genius” bar in an apple store and brought the phone in. They took a look at it and exchanged it for a new one on the spot!!!!

    Before my iphone I had a treo. When that phone stopped working correctly I was stuck. The store where I bought it did nothing for me and I was unable to exchange it. I just had to keep using it even though I had to charge it twice a day.

    That is one of the big differences between apple and other companies. Apple took care of my problem and actually seemed to care!

  31. I don’t think that Apple’s marketing and brand promises are any worse than Microsoft’s. It’s all about the spin and the limits of “Truth in advertising”. Ironically both companies promised a lot and delivered practically nothing. Vista is no where near what MS said it was going to be, same with Leopard.

    Not everybody wants to use the same tool to get the job done, that is why you have choices. I prefer to use a Mac, I have a PC, but don’t really use it much. Now I don’t think that everyone should use a Mac, because then that would create a monopoly and stifle innovation. I also believe that no computer company is perfect and once in a while Apple can create OS updates like MS’s ME. Like any other application or OS, it’s always good to wait until whatever bugs are worked out, if not, treat it like beta, like XP before SP2, or Vista.

  32. I don’t think that Apple’s marketing and brand promises are any worse than Microsoft’s. It’s all about the spin and the limits of “Truth in advertising”. Ironically both companies promised a lot and delivered practically nothing. Vista is no where near what MS said it was going to be, same with Leopard.

    Not everybody wants to use the same tool to get the job done, that is why you have choices. I prefer to use a Mac, I have a PC, but don’t really use it much. Now I don’t think that everyone should use a Mac, because then that would create a monopoly and stifle innovation. I also believe that no computer company is perfect and once in a while Apple can create OS updates like MS’s ME. Like any other application or OS, it’s always good to wait until whatever bugs are worked out, if not, treat it like beta, like XP before SP2, or Vista.

  33. This fall I decided to replace my three+ year-old Windows XP laptop with a new one. I had helped my daughter-in-law buy one of the new Apple Macbooks and she raves about it. My good friend in NJ has used Macs since the 1984 roll out of the Mac line. So I went on line to check out reviews, etc. Very tempted. However, I knew that although I could dual-boot a Mac, I probably would have some issues changing over completely to Apple. Also noticed that there were just as many posts online about people having issues with Apple OS upgrades as with people going from XP to Vista.

    My biggest concern was that the new laptop would likely come with Vista. Now that gave me pause. Heard and read about all kinds of compatibility issues going from XP to Vista.

    I decided that I also wanted a smaller “lap-print” — 13″ or less screen. After much research online and at local retail stores I chose a Toshiba model that came in at about 1/2 the cost of a comparably equipped Macbook or other brand Windows machine by Dell or Sony, 2 meg of RAM and a reasonably fast Core Duo processor. Etc. Very good deal, to put it mildly.

    So far I have found the laptop to be suberb. Very happy. So is my wallet.

    More to the point: Vista turns out to be very flexible with running XP software. I’ve loaded lots of old software just fine. AND I am finding the interface more enjoyable and useful than XP. I think that Vista is getting a bad rap. I am glad that I didn’t let Vista get in the way of upgrading.

    Finally: it’s all up to how well the user interacts with whatever hardware/software is out there. If it works for you, that’s what counts.

  34. This fall I decided to replace my three+ year-old Windows XP laptop with a new one. I had helped my daughter-in-law buy one of the new Apple Macbooks and she raves about it. My good friend in NJ has used Macs since the 1984 roll out of the Mac line. So I went on line to check out reviews, etc. Very tempted. However, I knew that although I could dual-boot a Mac, I probably would have some issues changing over completely to Apple. Also noticed that there were just as many posts online about people having issues with Apple OS upgrades as with people going from XP to Vista.

    My biggest concern was that the new laptop would likely come with Vista. Now that gave me pause. Heard and read about all kinds of compatibility issues going from XP to Vista.

    I decided that I also wanted a smaller “lap-print” — 13″ or less screen. After much research online and at local retail stores I chose a Toshiba model that came in at about 1/2 the cost of a comparably equipped Macbook or other brand Windows machine by Dell or Sony, 2 meg of RAM and a reasonably fast Core Duo processor. Etc. Very good deal, to put it mildly.

    So far I have found the laptop to be suberb. Very happy. So is my wallet.

    More to the point: Vista turns out to be very flexible with running XP software. I’ve loaded lots of old software just fine. AND I am finding the interface more enjoyable and useful than XP. I think that Vista is getting a bad rap. I am glad that I didn’t let Vista get in the way of upgrading.

    Finally: it’s all up to how well the user interacts with whatever hardware/software is out there. If it works for you, that’s what counts.

  35. a windows user will allways stay a windows user…that’s who you are scoble!

    *not that there is nothing wrong with it.

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