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'Designed by Apple' ad scores low with test audiences

updated 12:33 pm EDT, Thu June 27, 2013

Continues trend started with recent iPhone ads

Apple's "Designed by Apple" TV ad isn't scoring well with test audiences, says consulting firm Ace Metrix. The spot scored just 489 on an Ace Metrix scale, the lowest among 26 Apple ads aired during the last year, and below even a 542-point industry average. In the past, some Apple campaigns have scored over 700. Each Ace Metrix survey is based on at least 500 TV viewers.

Although Designed by Apple is believed to be the start of a new marketing campaign focusing on corporate branding rather than product features, recent iPhone ads have also faired poorly. The ads, which concentrated on people using the iPhone in daily life, earned scores of just 560 and 537 on the Ace Metrix scale.

Viewer complaints about the new ad are said to include a lack of informative content, "sad" music, and a long 60-second running time. Male viewers disliked the ad the most, particularly those over 21. The commercial did do better with female audiences.

Apple's chief rival, Samsung, has conversely done well in recent months. Since May, eight Samsung ads have scored an average of over 600. The new Apple campaign is reportedly aimed at countering companies like Samsung, which in some cases have products with more features at lower prices.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. OldMacGeek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-04-10

    These days, with the rampant jingoism going on, no one cares that a product is "Designed in California." I mean, think about it; according to John Q. Public (and most military drill instructors), "Nothing comes out of California but steers and queers!"

    If you *really* want to tickle the fancy of America (or, as they now refer to it - 'Murika!) let them know it's designed in America - not some left-leaning, namby-pamby place-we-grudgingly-accept-as-a-state place. Like John Deere and Jimmy Dean - let them know that this device was designed in America by Americans and for Americans.

    And yes - my tongue is so firmly in cheek that it's getting cramps, but you get the point . . .

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    I don't think it's California, I think the commercial just plain sucks. It's difficult to run a serious commercial unless you're trying to make the audience empathetic to a negative situation. They should have gone with a more positive approach, and lose the funeral music. Of course, the easy way out is to just use humor.

  1. leoofborg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-05-09

    Or better yet, do what Apple USED to be famous for doing: Saying NOTHING, just SHOWING us why we should buy from them.

    This campaign comes off as defeatist 'internal communications' for Apple employees. I hate to say it, but I've seen this before: It usually means morale is low, and layoffs are coming.

  1. ButisitArt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-13-03

    I agree. It's just a bad commercial Come on big boy ... bore me!.

    Plus we're so use to the products and what they can do you have to move beyond our complacency and excite an over stimulated public. If Apple's trying to reach out to their base, they are no longer the diehard Mac fans of old. The audience is broader and maybe not so devoted.

    I was watching a DVRed show, and while FF through commercials I saw the ad. I went back and watched it for the first time. It was so bad I couldn't believe my eyes or ears. What dreck!

    "Designed In California" is no "Think Different" or "Here's to the crazy ones ...". Is Tim Cook up to the task at hand? Guess we'll see. With any luck they pull this add pronto & chalk it up to experience. Then the question remain, how to excite a rather jaded consumer?

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    It's the wrong direction, Tim.
    Apple's branding is promoted by the products. Apple's branding is not the product. You aren't selling Apple, your selling products MADE by Apple. They stand on their own, and really don't need people to accept the corporation.
    From a "we can make crappy commercials just like our competitors" standpoint. SUCCESS!

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    It would be a slightly different story if "Designed by Apple in California" actually carried some weight with it. That slogan might give some SF hipster a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it means zilch to large portions of the public between the East and the West Coast.

    Another issue, at least for me, is this: Every time I hear or read that slogan, I keep on hearing the following sentence that's printed right after "Designed by Apple in California" on my iDevices, loud and clear in my head: "Assembled in China". I'm probably the only one who does this.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    @leoofborg: huh? "It usually means [...] layoffs are coming"? So is that the reason they're building that huge new Apple Campus 2, to store all thosed layed-off people?

  1. reader50

    Administrator

    Joined: 06-01-00

    You're not the only one. "Designed by Apple in California" suggests a partial sentence. They forget to include "but Made Elsewhere". Imagine buying a loaf of bread which says "Wrapper designed in Texas". You just know they're focusing on the easy part, and leaving out the rest of the sentence.

  1. AppleTechSpot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-27-13

    I disagree. It is easy in hind sight to rave about "The Crazy Ones" ad but what you must remember is it was just a preamble to the Think Different campaign. When "The Crazy Ones" first aired people were very negative about it. What that is supposed to sell Macs? Many people said it sucked!!!

    The current "Designed by Apple in California" might be very much the same thing. I expect this is the first round of a broader PRODUCT focused "Signature" campaign that will accompany new product rollouts in the fall. I think it is a very clever campaign draws in the legend of Steve Jobs' idea of the designers and engineers signing their work on the original Macintosh and subsequent products without mentioning Jobs himself (ie drawing attention to his absence) but reflects that Apple is still Apple.

    I expect harder hitting "Signature" ads to launch the new iPhone and feature iOS 7. I think it is simply too early to judge a campaign by this initial start. "The Crazy Ones" scored poorly out of the gate but now it is legend. Time will tell.

  1. makemineamac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-07-08

    I think this ad is fantastic, and speaks to the depths they go to before releasing a product to the masses.

    My understanding is that this is a commentary on how they do things, and why they do things, for the end user and the end user alone. And if it's not good enough to go, they won't do it.

    I for one, love it. Guess I'm one of the few.... That's fine by me!

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    It's a slow pace commercial. I think it will attract more attention from older folks than the young ones. I am OK with it. It's kind of sending a hidden message of "buy American designed" and not "Designed by Samsung in South Korea".

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    I really liked it ... I liked it the first time I saw it, and I've watched a couple of more times. I also liked the intro they did at WWDC as well ... that was very clever.

    I do realize they're a departure from your typical TV ad in the US (Murika !!), but I think it will resonate with a lot of people who are also tired of seeing the same crap.

    I think both the voice-over, music, shots and the story-line is perfect ... it embodies Apple's philosophy and what they're all about (bringing delight to their users) .... something that many people (including their customers) quickly forget. Contrast that with the competitor ads which are just cheesy and feature driven.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I'm with you, coffeetime...every time I see it, it seems like a dig @ SK Samsung, if only subliminally.

  1. gmsquires

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-02-09

    I jist saw a post by John Gruber on Daring Fireball about Ace Metrix in a Business Week article regarding theri suppsoed rating of Apples new ad campaign. As John Gruber puts it, "Guess who Ace Metrix's biggest client is?". Samsung which is what I suspected. So these Bozo's have nothing to say in my book.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Also, 500 users polled? Not likely to be statistically significant.
    I still think it is a dumb ad.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-10-05

    I think "Made in America" would generate more of a positive response from viewers (for those state side).

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 07-16-04

    Maybe they need to bring back Scott Forstall? Tim Cook should have remained in his COO position handling operations and Scott Should have been the heir to the Jobs throne.

  1. OkieDoc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-07-01

    Gruber was linking to John Molt'z site
    http://verynicewebsite.net

    I really like the ads. I wish they would run the WWDC video on TV.
    "Made in America" is fine, but Apple has had "Designed by Apple in California" on their boxed materials for a long time. Plus, I think that California resonates a lot with those other then in the US.

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