Okay, so Kindle has a snazzy commercial series complete with stop-action video that makes you keep watching. Watching, that is, if you happen to be paying attention to commercials, and who does that anymore? The spots have music that forces you to glance up from playing Ragdoll Blaster on your iPhone just long enough, to see if The Gap or Target has a new commercial on the air. But no…it’s Kindle. The spots are a big step up from their earlier tries which were amateurish and lacked a cool factor, but that’s about it.
Enter iPad. iPad has its own commercial series. They’re oddball slice-of-life spots that barely show the product or its functionality—a hallmark of the iPad spot that premiered on this year’s Academy Awards, and the wow-factor of the old iPhone commercials that left us agog and other smart phones in the dust. Instead, there are a couple paper boys in one spot. Two girls who have just been dumped by their boyfriends in a second and two guys with attention-starved dogs in a third. In each case—the paper throwing, the girlfriend dumping and the dog begging—Apple shows life happening the old way, and happening the new way with the iPad. Old way or new, all the spots are equally annoying.
So in terms of brand advertising, is iPad or Kindle the early winner in the battle of the readers? In terms of commercials alone, it’s a draw. Kindle keeps your attention, but doesn’t really make you feel compelled to buy the product. And the iPad spots, hmmm… teenage girls whining about their boyfriends will trigger in many people a spontaneous mute-button response. Kind of like a gag reflex.
But Apple, smart as ever, managed to plant their brand into the hearts of their audience nevertheless, in a big, big way. Call it a 30-minute commercial. Or call it last week’s episode of “Modern Family.” If you missed it, Phil’s birthday happened to be on the same day Apple released the iPad. Most of the show was about early-adopter Phil yearning for the iPad as his birthday present, and his wife Claire trying her best to get him one. He said it didn’t matter, but when his dream became reality, iPad in hand, Phil said it really did matter. It mattered so much! Apple, whatever that cost you, it played brilliantly, passionately and with heart. This is how you sell on TV (the 30-second spot is so over) and the way to sell iPads. As of this writing… the score…iPad 1. Kindle 0.
What is branding? Heart & Mind® Branding.