Why Is Apple Vaporizing Dozens of People In Its Latest Ad?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around MediaPost, when I came across this Todd Wasserman piece about a new Apple ad that addresses data privacy.

Watch Data Buyers Go Up In Smoke

Apple has taken a public stance in favor of the privacy of its users, but rarely has it made that stance as understandable as in this new ad.

The ad, via TBWA\Chiat\Day Media Arts Lab, shows a young woman at a record store (remember those?) who hears music through a door (“Fantasy” by Esquivel) and runs toward it, only to see her picture on the door with the words “Ellie’s Data Auction.”

She enters an auction room with a life-sized hologram of herself as an auctioneer announces, “Lot Number One: Her emails.” Next up, her location data — again sold to a suspicious-looking data buyer.  “It’s not creepy,” the auctioneer says. “It’s commerce!”

Eventually Ellie gets her revenge thanks to an iPhone, but is that really what happens to our digital data, Doc? Seems totally creepy.

– Android Al

Dear Double A,

Gotta agree with you there. Here’s the Apple ad in full.

The ad suggests that an iPhone puts all your data in a –  shoutout to Al Gore – digital lockbox. But Sara Morrison at Vox says, not so fast.

The [privacy update], called App Tracking Transparency, doesn’t stop all the ways companies follow you around the internet and in your mobile apps because Apple can’t stop all tracking. Nor does it want to. Your data is still being collected, but what’s being collected and how may have changed. The end result, however, is roughly the same: You’re being targeted with ads . . .

From a user privacy standpoint, App Tracking Transparency seems like a good thing. It’s just not as good of a thing as you might have thought, or perhaps as Apple wanted you to think it was.

Memo to Ellie: Maybe you want to look into some other vaporizing tools. Just saying.

How Pretentious Is This iPad Air Spot?

cropped-dradsforarticles7.jpgWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I was just sitting there on Sunday watching the New England Patriots get shredded by the Denver Broncos when this iPad Air spot popped up:

 

 

Seriously?

– iDon’tGetIt

Dear iDon’t,

You mean you never watched Dead Poets Society where John Keating (played by Robin Williams) says to his students:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

So you never saw this (tip o’ the pixel to ZDNet)?

 

 

You need to brush up on your Whitman, man. Or maybe just your Williams.

Yo.

 

What’s Up with the ‘Reform Government Surveillance’ Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I don’t read the New York Times much (I’m a Washington Post kind of guy), but I happened upon Monday’s edition and here’s what I saw.

 

Picture 3

 

That’s some Murderers’ Row, eh? But don’t you think there’s a big name missing? I’m talking about a company that collects mountains of information the government could find useful in determining what people might do next, or what like-minded people already have done.

See where I’m headed here, Doc?

– Jeff B

Dear Jeff B,

The Doc feels your pain. We’ve never gotten over losing the Acting Surgeon General gig to Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., who’s a total hack.

Still, we’re not really sure you fit into the picture painted by Monday’s, er, Washington Post.

Big tech companies lash out at government snooping

NSA Surveillance-Tech.JPEG-0bd40

WASHINGTON — Silicon Valley is escalating pressure on President Barack Obama to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry’s financial livelihood.

A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed Monday in major newspapers and a new website, http://reformgovernmentsurveillance.com .

Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and AOL Inc. joined Google Inc., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the push for tighter controls over electronic espionage. The group is immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.

Oh, wait – you’re also “immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.”

But you’ve been marginalized like some Mom ‘n’ Pop-Up site.

Hah!

Anyway, the bottom line is this: The tech giants are urging the government to stop glomming onto the megadata they mine.

They want it all for themselves.

Yo.

What’s Up with BlackBerry’s ‘Department of Defense’ Ads?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

So I’m reading the New York Times the other day and what do I see but this full-page ad:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 1.18.37 AM

Wait – BlackBerry? Gold standard security? Aren’t these the same bozos whose market share has fallen to 1% in the U.S. and zero in China?

So how do they wind up in the same sentence as the US Department of Defense?

Tell me that, Doc.

– Chuckie H

Dear Chuckie H,

Clearly, national security is the last refuge of scroungers.

From Fox Business:

New research on Monday revealed that BlackBerry’s (BBRY) share of the U.S. smartphone market recently inched below 1%, as the handset maker grapples with disappointing sales of new phones.BBRY

According to Kantar Wordpanel ComTech, BlackBerry held market share of just 0.8% for the three months ended Oct. 31. The news is worse in China, where the Canadian company now has no share of the market. BlackBerry’s strongest showing is in Great Britain at 3.3%.

BlackBerry once pioneered the smartphone industry, but its fortunes quickly turned amid competition from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Samsung.

Regardless, BlackBerry has a spiffy new website and a chirpy interim CEO who spends most of his time whistling past the mobile graveyard.

From BGR:

BlackBerry tries to shoo off vultures in latest open letter

BlackBerry is tired of rival mobile device management (MDM) companies circling its body like a swarm of ravenous vultures. In an open letter to enterprise customers posted on Monday, interim BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that his company is “very much alive” in the enterprise mobility space and that businesses shouldn’t listen to MDM vendors who want them to throw away their BES.

A Canadian flag waves in front of a Blackberry logo at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo“You’re hearing a lot of noise in the market about BlackBerry,” Chen begins in his letter. “MDM vendors are undoubtedly inviting you to webinars and enticing you to switch off your BES. We want to set the story straight about BlackBerry in the Enterprise, both for our existing customers and for those about to implement BYOD and MDM. We are very much alive, thank you.”

What makes the letter particularly interesting is that it indicates that BlackBerry really is waving the white flag in the consumer mobile device market and is going back to putting enterprise devices and services first.

Yo – the CrackBerry is dead. The only place it’s going is away.

What’s Up with the New Apple Ads?

Well the Doc opened the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

Apple has always run breakthrough ads promoting its breakthrough products. But we think its latest campaign is kind of  . . . meh.

What do you think?

– Adam and Eve

Dear Adam and Eve,

The new Apple ads have, as the saying goes, fallen pretty far from the tree, yeah?

A little history is in order here.

In the beginning, there was the 1984 ad that ran during that year’s Super Bowl broadcast. (Yeah yeah – the Doc does know there were Apple ads before that one, including this 1983 spot featuring Kevin Costner. D’you know that?)

 

That spot launched the Super Bowl Adstravaganza – one-off commercials designed mostly to profit from the promopalooza around the Big Game.

After that came a variety of other campaigns, most notably the Mac and PC series. Representative samples:

 

Same themes as the 1984 ad, right? Apple gives you freedom, individuality, personality, uniqueness.

Accent on the you.

Now consider the current Apple campaign. Here’s one of a series of double-trucks running in newspapers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and today’s Boston Globe:

Picture 2

 

Body copy:

This is it.

This is what matters.

The experience of a product.

How it makes someone feel.

When you start by imagining

What that might be like,

You step back.

You think . .  .

 

And yack yack yack.

Oh, yeah – here’s the companion TV spot, titled “Our Signature”:

 

What’s wrong with this picture (tube)?

It’s all about them – all we we we. Just like the last graf of the print ad: “We’re engineers and artists. Craftsmen and inventors. We sign our work. You may rarely look at it. But you’ll always feel it. This is our signature. And it means everything.”

And all this time we thought the customer meant everything.

Plus, Designed by Apple in California? Is that supposed to make us forget the Third World manufacturing that produces this stuff?

Apple used to be the most sure-footed of marketers. But this is a major stumble.

Yo.