the Apple commercial that's fallen far from the tree [Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:46:04 +0000]
I'm about to leave Charleston for the second time for my second stint in Raleigh, NC. I'll be returning to work for a library after having worked for a library vendor. I'm not ruling out working in the private sector again but any vendor I'd work for in the future will need to respect its customers and what they know. It's at least forgivable to be cocky if you can deliver a product that's actually well conceived and functional. If not, then you're stuck with emulating the (former?) external appearance of Apple which seems to have achieved financial success by selling emotion more than their actual product features. But enthusiasm is no substitute for competence, let alone excellence, in execution. And delusion is no substitute for self-belief. If you don't know what you're doing and you talk a big game ... then you just look like a damn fool to those that do know. Plus, you open yourself up to critics that won't feel the need to point out your errors in a gentle manner. At that point you can either allow yourself to be humbled, embrace your weaknesses, and work to improve. Or you can double-down and talk more shit. That's to say you can choose to finally succeed or you can choose to fail even harder. True self-belief and positive thinking is completely aligned with honest self-assessment and self-criticism. If you can't look in the mirror, you'll always be ugly. Apple could/can play on emotion and walk with swagger because its products actually worked/work. Their attitude followed their aptitude. Some people seem to think it works the other way around. I wouldn't say Apple made better things than others. I've been telling people for years that Apple, while a good tech company, doesn't really have better products than their competitors. They had better ads, a better brand. They sold/sell their products as vehicles to emotions and seemed to also sell, albeit subversively, the idea that those using another company's products not only were worse off but also needed to be told so. It's not entirely fair to blame the company for their fan-boys, but you damn well better believe they fed that behavior. Because they could. That's what feels so telling about this latest iPhone commercial (below). This is the first Apple commercial I can remember seeing that's expository in nature. I don't mean this in a bad way against Microsoft, but this feels more like a typical Microsoft commercial which, as memory serves, tended/tend to directly addressed a product's capabilities and what it can do for you. I'd say the same for the few Google ads I've seen as well. The difference is that this, as an ad by Apple, feels like someone else's commercial but I don't think it's done well. It's far, far too didactic.