When Branding Takes the Wrong Turn – The Ad That Didn’t Win Gold…


Creating your brand.   Whether it’s your personal brand as a creative – or the brand you contribute to creating while on the job – a brand can be the expression of a product or service that will set you and your company apart.  Pretty important and powerful stuff…wouldn’t you agree?

So I was very perplexed recently when I saw a particular act of branding during the Summer Olympic Games, and it grabbed my attention – but not in a good way.

You probably know what I’m referring to…the new Apple ads.

There was just something about these ads that I couldn’t put my finger on.  My first reaction was…”Oh, that’s an Apple ad?  Hmmm.”  As I saw them a few times more, my inner voice started sounding even more perplexed, scratching its head and saying, “Huh?  What IS this?”

And I wasn’t alone.

The essence of Apple technology and the way their branding appealed to the consumer gave us confidence in our user experience and the ease of use of our Apple products – from creating in the workplace, to depending on our iPhones to jogging with our iPod.

So why is Apple now alluding to the fact that we’re dumb, their products are difficult to use, and this Genius guy is getting annoying, (and we usually love Geniuses!)

Many are saying that Steve Jobs wouldn’t have approved of this ad, and it’s undermining the tone and essence of the Apple brand he created.

What do you think?  Is this “thinking differently?”

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