Apple Crush – Love it or Hate It? 

How did you feel about the furore over Apple’s latest ad? The aptly named Crush.

Were you horrified by the seemingly wanton destruction by Big Tech of the fruits of human creativity? Or did you thrill to the sight of those objects squashed? 

Were you impressed by the wafer-thin new device that would undoubtedly be more practical to carry around than its predecessor? Or did you feel that Apple were running out of steam if all they could produce now was a slight improvement on a product that had seemed groundbreakingly new and different at launch?  

Did you recall a similar ad 16 years ago from LG? and lament the fact that Apple was once a creative pioneer (creating that groundbreaking 1984 ad), but seems now a mere follower?  

Did you feel that it was right and proper that the corporation should apologise for upsetting the creative community who have always seen Apple as their champion?  

Or did you feel it was simply bowing to the demands of the social media mob and that Apple should just have ridden it out (and made the most of the extra exposure)? 

It struck me that this was a perfect example of the importance of understanding your target and that you can never make assumptions about how they might think and feel without checking in with them first. Perhaps Apple did. 

I don’t know who the target is, but although this ad created a furore on social media amongst the creative community, that group of people is only a tiny part of the potential iPad buyer audience. If a piece of comms generates the right kind of noise amongst the right audience, does it matter if another audience gets outraged?  Will those creatives who took to social media in indignation immediately boycott Apple and go elsewhere when it comes to buying their next device?  

It is always useful to check in with other interested parties, outside your direct target, whose opinion is also worth understanding. With a brand like Apple that has such a devoted following this is particularly important.  

This can sound like we’re advising a brand to make no moves without research (lots of it!) and of course we would say that wouldn’t we? We have to preach what we practise after all.  

But it can also sound like we’re advising extreme caution – don’t do anything without checking it out first with what might seem the inevitable consequence of getting a negative response and deciding not to go ahead.  

We’re not at all – quite the opposite. We’re suggesting that it’s always a good idea to gain an understanding of the likely reaction to what you’re doing and then proceeding with it anyway (with optimisations added).  

With that understanding you can plan for the social media reaction and make a shrewd calculation as to how you respond to a backlash. For all I know Apple had a carefully crafted apology in their back pocket ready to go if needed. But they might just as well have had to produce one on the spot.  

Going out there and making an impact is what it’s all about.  

If you don’t do that you won’t enjoy the upside of the social media storm – check out this spoof, an imaginative and creative response.

Worth it? What do you think?   

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The Nursery’s expertise covers the full range of the planning cycle from Market Understanding, Segmentation, Proposition Development, Creative Development, Campaign Evaluation and brand and experience Tracking.