Apple’s new TV commercial does something that’s hard to do. It not only about selling the iPad 2, but it also defines Apple’s mission. It follow’s Steve Job’s philosophy that with all of today’s geeky technology and apps, it will still be the company who delivers the best experience, wins. Steve knows a thing or two about creating wonderful, even magical, experiences. But, back to the point, Apple gets more bang for their advertising buck.
Most advertising either gives you features and benefits or is an image piece to humanize the company. Both are fine by themselves, but being able to deliver both is a mark of a great ad. The viewer walks away with not only with how this product or service fits their lifestyle, but why they should buy from this company in particular. Great advertising, both new media and traditional, connects with the heart and the head. One without the other is hollow and less convincing. If you only appeal to the head, then you are missing a big portion of why people buy. Most buy on emotion, not on specs. Customers use logic as an afterthought to why they purchased something emotionally. If you aim only at the emotional pull, you don’t give customers enough “ammo” to justify why they should buy from you or at all. The heart and head is a symbiotic relationship. The Apple iPad 2 TV spot appeals to both. This is what makes the ad effective. You want to buy a tablet. You want it to be an iPad 2. And you want to do business with a company like Apple who stands for something more than technology or just a sale.
It’s rare that a technology company is able to appeal to human emotions this effectively. Too many tech companies depend on “superior technology” or a “better mousetrap” to win you over. That is fine at the beginning, but your competitors will create version 2.0 or trump your features with better features, all within in 3-4 months. Superior technology doesn’t last very long. This applies to non-tech companies as well. Too many depend on superior processes, superior quality, or a new product all together. It only takes a short few months and your competitors will have marketed a better process, better quality, and come out with their version of your new product. So, what do you have left? It is your brand and what you stand for. This is something that is very difficult to duplicate and is your real competitive advantage.
By combining great features and benefits with an equally great experience and inspiring mission, you will be hard to duplicate. If you are hard to duplicate, then you’ll be hard to beat. Whether you are a Mac disciple or not, you can still learn what great marketing looks like from this one TV spot. In that sense, I wish we all could be like Apple.