Why the latest Apple-iPhone-Siri ads are strategically flawed.

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012

Lately we’ve seen Siri-related Apple iPhone ads featuring Samuel L. Jackson, John Malkovich and Zooey Deschanel. That is a key change in Apple’s marketing strategy (using celebrities). And not a good one. I’ll explain.

For years, Apple ads have been successful in making the product and its benefits the star. So why the sudden borrowed interest in using quirky celebrities? Is this an admission by Apple or its ad agency, TBWA, it can’t sustain the product’s “cool” factor on its own?

Besides the fact that all these celebrities likely have real, paid personal assistants that they use more than Siri, does having the phone-buying public know that Samuel L. Jackson talks to Siri about where to buy vegetables and gazpacho make that more cooler? Or is Siri failing to catch on with the public to the point marketers are trying to use social proof to say, “Hey, famous people are using Siri, you should too!” If so, that’s borrowed interest that only will work to quietly prove that the iPhone is taking a back seat in selling itself.

Yes, Apple iPhone ads, like most marketing, needs to evolve. But Apple’s previous ads are so effective because they made the product feel upscale, empowering and yet everyman. I could look into the iPhone ads and see the power and possibilities of the product for ME (and the rest of us to drool over). From the latest ads, we see more of the possibilities for Samuel L Jackson or Zooey Deschanel. That’s a problem.

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