Apple is a master at marketing. Their campaigns are cohesive and get attention. When I needed to look closely at what a social media campaign entails, I knew right where I wanted to look. I'd had a bit of an itch under my skin ever since I watched their latest ad and I eagerly delved deeper to see if I could figure out why.
Apple's overall goal
Let's take a global look at Apple's approach to positioning their latest iPad, the iPad Pro. Not only is the iPad Pro now boasting a 12.9" size as well as a 10.7" size, but Apple has beefed up the technical specifications as well. With the top model shipping with up to 512GB of memory, the iPad Pro is a force to be reckoned with. The laptop I'm writing this on only has 250GB! Combined with the Apple Pencil, it adds a whole extra layer of interactivity.
However, even though the iPad Pro is so powerful, most people see it as something to use to play games, read an eBook, or watch Netflix. Apple wants to change that. They want consumers to see that the iPad Pro can be used in ways people typically use a laptop, but in places a laptop wouldn't make any sense.
This is the ad that Apple presented on tv and YouTube:
The following ad appears in Facebook:
What principles are they utilizing?
The Presentation Principle
Just like the rest of us, brands want to be perceived in a certain way. They carefully cultivate an online image that matches their brand's personality as a way to stay cohesive and build brand loyalty.
What has Apple chosen to show us in this campaign? That their company builds devices to go everywhere with you. That no matter your needs, Apple has a device for you. That there's no set age for using their products. That their products can be used for a wide variety of applications. That you can be productive and enjoy your work when using their devices.
The Zeitgeist Principle
The Zeitgeist Principle states that every time in history has a particular mood or feeling to it. During the Great Depression, many people became extremely tight with their money in order to survive. In that time period, an ad showing overflowing decadence and needless waste would have been unappealing. In contrast, think of the flower power era of the 70s. What would have appealed to them? Or better yet, think of how the feelings towards the police has changed in our country in just the past few years.
In technology, the zeitgeist is tending towards people wanting devices that span multiple categories. People don't want just a computer that stays at home on a desk in the corner. They want something they can touch the screen of or draw on with a stylus. They want something they can take on a backpacking trip with them. They want a watch that will do more than tell the time or a laptop that can double as a tablet. Apple is responding to that consistently in all of their campaigns.
The Story Principle
Everyone loves a good story. They love having someone they can invest in and root for. They love having someone who's point of view they can explore. In this ad, Apple is giving us a story. We watch a girl go through her day, from location to location and task to task. Her trusty iPad is right there through it all, ready to capture everything.
Is it effective?
I'll admit, when I first watched this campaign, it really bugged me. What intelligent kid wouldn't know what a computer is? I kind of rolled my eyes and got engrossed in whatever was playing next. But it stuck with me. It was like an itch I couldn't scratch and it kept making me think about it. And that's what an effective campaign does. It makes you keep thinking about it. It didn't matter if I agreed with the last part or not. As long as I keep thinking about the ad, I'm thinking about the product. And all publicity is good publicity, right?