First off I’m a big fan of Apple’s stuff. And I say that not as one of the Johnny-Come-Latelies who jumped aboard with the Mitchell and Webb Mac versus PC ads or first-gen iPods. No, no, no. I was using Mac Classics nearly fifteen years ago using Quark XPress and Adobe Photoshop in the days when the interweb didn’t exist and parsing a 20k JPEG took three hours.
So I’ve got Mac chops OK? Listen, I was there in the old days, when it was genuinely cool. Apple stole a march on, well, everyone else when they decided that using a computer didn’t have to be a baffling and distressingly-difficult task left to nerds and kids. When they realised that a computer didn’t have to consist of three huge whirring grey plastic boxes that didn’t look good in anyone’s house. When, to paraphrase those Mitchell and Webb ads, using a computer just became really fucking easy.
These days it’s all Nathan Barleys, 45-year-old CEOs who play squash and these students who seem to have more money than I do who form Apple’s target demographic. And in doing so they’ve priced every ordinary fucker who used their stuff cos it worked and was good for designing on and playing obscure techno on out of the market.
I still forgive Apple for their high prices, we’ve got to price some of the scum out of the Mac market, and generally-speaking you pay for what you get.
But with iPods and the iPhone Apple has lost it. What’s with these absurd prices and poor quality? Have you seen the earphones that come with the iPod? And don’t get me started on the iPhone. Actually, I don’t know anything about the iPhone as sanity has prevailed in that particular direction.
But I have seen the ads for the iPhone, and frankly they stink. There’s always been a certain smugness connected with Apple, which is part of the cache. Yes I’ve been ripped off, you’re saying, but at least I’ve got some cool kit.
The new iPhone adverts that cover new iPhone applications – Last.fm, Urbanspoon. Shazam and so on – take this smugness to a whole new level, thanks to some of that generic wibbly music that swathes all middle-class aspirational ads these days, plus the most annoying voiceover you’ve ever heard.
If you were to imagine Chris Martin talking about his new gold-plated toilet it couldn’t possibly be more self-satisfied. It’s so smug because its so simplistic and patronising, it’s the equivalent of a car salesman saying “I don’t need to sell you this car, it sells itself.”
Throw in a tone of voice that suggests the narrator is permanently surprised by how, like, totally amazing the iPhone is and hey presto – an ad that annoys the living shit out of everyone.
By the way, if any passing PRs from Apple drop by, can we have one?