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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Ken Segall was a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day and worked with Steve Jobs for years, including at NeXT and Apple. He wrote a book about his experiences called Insanely Simple that posited "Simplicity" as the driving force behind everything Steve Jobs did.


In a post on his personal site, Segall dissects the new 'Genius' television ads that Apple began running during the Olympics last Friday.
Repeat after me: "The sky is not falling. The sky is not falling."

I know it's hard to say after viewing the new batch of Mac ads that debuted on the Olympics. I'm still in a bit of shock myself.

Sure, Apple has had a low point or two in its advertising past -- but its low points are usually higher than most advertisers' high points.

This is different. These ads are causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so. I honestly can't remember a single Apple campaign that's been received so poorly.
Segall goes on to address a number of hypothetical points relating to the ads, including "I did wonder if it was a good idea to make customers seem so clueless." (No.) and "Ken, you're missing the obvious. Clearly these ads are targeted at first-timers, not for you." ("That's a seemingly logical defense. It's also a horrible one.")

He finishes by pointing out that no one can know what Steve Jobs would have done, and it's a foolish question to ponder.
None of us can possibly know what Steve would do. Steve was a master marketer, but he was also perfectly capable of a lapse in judgment. It's unfortunate that this campaign is appearing now, nine months after Steve passed away, because the timing only fuels the argument that everything will crumble now that Steve is gone. I don't buy that.
One of the ads, 'Basically', is embedded above. 'Labor Day' and 'Mayday' are viewable on YouTube.

Article Link: Former Apple Ad Man Slams 'Genius' TV Spots as "Landing With A Thud"


macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2008
They're not great, but they're not THAT bad. Raised a little chuckle, which is more than most ads do.

Master Atrus

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2003
I never thought they were terrible, but they aren't great either. The sky however is not falling and we shouldn't worry. After all, these ads are causing people to talk which is always good in advertising!


macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2011
I'm really not sure how these made it through to the air. They are pretty bad...especially the two non-airplane ones.

My guess is they'll pull them from the air this week if not today and we'll see the Siri/iPhone ads back on immediately.

And whoever did these fired or let go (or the ad agency)


macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2011
I've seen them during the Olympics and all I could think of was:

"Dude, you're getting a Dell."

Hey in fact... Apple is using a fairly young, nearly hipster-ish looking tech guy... APPLE IS COPYING DELL!!! SOME CALL THE LAWERS AND SUE THEM FOR ALL THEIR WORTH!!!


macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2010
Not horrible ads. Just like the Dave Matthews Band's CDs after "Before These Crowded Streets" aren't 'horrible.' But compared to before the fold, they are pretty bad.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2002
Los Angeles
I would take ANYTHING Ken Segall says, with a grain of salt.

All Ken is trying to do is SELL BOOKS with his comments. Nothing more.

His comments are an ADVERTISEMENT for his book.


macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2010
They suit the current generation of brain-dead iPhone sheep tbh.

Bring back the "I'm a Mac" ad's.


macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2012
I agree^^^ They're made to target people who have had problems (using windows) using computers for the easiest task. Windows is so horrible that the average computer user EXPECTS a simple task to be very difficult. I think the commercials are pretty decent. It doesn't describe the end user to be as "stupid" as most would think. It realy just points out the preconceived notions that all computers are difficult - except the mac.

People read into this stuff way too much...



macrumors 68020
Jan 7, 2007
Nunya, Business TX
I've seen tech illiterate people that embody the characters in these commercials, and then some. This ad sells Apple Retail to them beautifully. You see it everyday in an Apple store.


Jul 16, 2010
I never thought they were terrible, but they aren't great either. The sky however is not falling and we shouldn't worry. After all, these ads are causing people to talk which is always good in advertising!

No, getting people to talk because they cannot stand your ad is not good advertising. That is a cliche that is totally wrong.

In the end, an ad has one purpose, to drive sales. Giving customers a negative taste by an ad is not going to drive sales.


macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2008
I thought the ads did a good job showcasing the support you get whenever you buy an Apple product... something Apple needs to advertise more of since its something customers really care about. The humor was in no way more insulting than the "Get a Mac" ads. I liked these.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2011
My brother in law and I were watching the olympics when this commercial came on. He said "Apple is starting to do commercials like this?" and me being an Apple fan boy and ex-employee stated "No. Impossible, probably a best buy ad or Target". & then the unthinkable happened.

:apple:Mac came up. His next words were...

"Looks like Apple is like everyone else now".

I honestly think Apple's best days are ahead of it and I don't think that anything will slow them down. We could only speculate where the company will go, but then again, it's Apple. I have no doubt they will "Wow" us many more times to come.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2002
could be worse

Not the worst I've seen. Not up to typical Apple standards though. I thought they were a bit juvenile.
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