A few days ago, I tweeted a critique by Ad Age TV editor Brian Steinberg that the new Apple iPhone Siri commercials, featuring Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson, were “off brand,” i.e. they projected an “elitist” image versus Apple’s “1984” democratic legacy. Then I received posts that I was perhaps selling the spots shorts. Now Ad Age has confirmed that the ads are not only highly successful, but are actually reviving the brand. I like the fact that the original article and my post have sparked some interest, but I was wrong.
Not surprisingly, according to research, the ads have scored better than the previous feature-based approach. At TMP, we have long held that enumerating features does not a brand make. People want to see benefits. That’s true in B2C, B2B and recruitment, where job seekers will usually want to know the psychological and identity impact of a position or career.
BTW, I had been originally reluctant to post the tweet for several reasons: It’s very bad form for professionals to question another agency’s work when you don’t know the strategic thinking behind message and audience. And I like Zooey Deschanel pretty much in anything, felt she had been snubbed by the Academy for 500 Days of Summer,like the fact that she hales from Northwestern University’s Theater Department (where I have my degree and she spent seven months) and appreciate that our mutual friend Nelly Lewis (Lambert), who went to Shakespeare camp with her in the late 1990s, says that she did a great Juliet. Having lectured on advertising to Nelly’s rhetoric class at Catholic University, I think it must have been an excellent experience.
So, Siri, please post your new spots.