It's become almost en vogue for marketers to criticize Apple marketing. The brand will forever be measured against its own mighty yardstick - the legendary Crazy Ones/Think Different campaign. Today's marketers love comparing Apple against that old campaign and describing in detail how it doesn't measure up.
I don't agree.
In the past year or so Apple has had two rather remarkable, and in my opinion, underrated, campaigns - "Shot on iPhone 6" and the holiday Apple TV campaign. Both exhibit the subtle creative genius that makes Apple products beloved around the world.
Apple is the dominant brand in the personal tech space. I argue it doesn't have to be groundbreaking the way they did back then. "The Crazy Ones" was all about changing market perception - they weren't the dominant brand then. They had no choice but to change perception. As the clear market leaders, today's Apple is in a much different position. Its messaging imperative is to first reinforce its position as the market leader and then emphasize what makes Apple Apple - product quality and the fluidity/seamlessness across the Apple technology ecosystem. Research I've conducted has revealed time and time again Apple's quality and seamless integration are key drivers for intense consumer loyalty. Millennials in particular are drawn to Apple for those reasons. These two campaigns exhibit those imperatives so elegantly (which is so very Apple).
The "Shot on iPhone 6" campaign is so clever because it boldly showcases one of the most important features of a smartphone - the camera - which has become increasingly a focal point of rival Android smartphones. Using actual pictures iPhone users themselves have taken took the campaign one very important and necessary step further in our deeply connected marketplace. iPhone owners across the world are using their phone chronicle their lives and share memorable moments with their friends and family. How fitting for Apple to feature some of the most captivating images! Every single image in the ongoing "Shot on iPhone 6" campaign is breathtaking.
Of course the the Apple TV was a big push item for the holidays. The campaign was perfect in its simplicity. By now most everyone knows what Apple TV is (at least those who are legitimate target consumers) so the focus was rightly shifted to iconic branding. I love the juxtaposition of the color bars - something so "old school" - with very current and relevant content that is accessible through Apple in a decidedly "now" way. Plus one couldn't help but notice the bright color bars.
All in all, Apple is doing what they need right now - reinforcing its brand as a market leader in simple and clean, yet very powerful, messages.