marketing Stories March 12, 2015

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In the run up to the Spring Forward event, many people were expecting to see a lengthy exposition of the Apple Watch, to clarify confusion and offer a clean explanation as to how this product plays an essential role in people’s lives. What transpired was not that, at all. Apple’s event was a grab-bag procession of various product announcements, from Mac to Apple TV, concluding with a review of Watch features alongside pricing and availability details.

It did not help consolidate the vision for the Watch. Apple’s messaging for this product is almost the same as it was back in September. The company has not succinctly provided a reason for the Watch’s existence.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have one. I think the Watch is a great product with a good sales trajectory ahead of it, especially the $349 Sport models. The marketing aspects are lacking, so far. The Watch does not have clearly defined themes. Apple’s attempts at promoting three ‘tentpole’ use cases have, in my view, been conveyed poorly.

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marketing Stories March 9, 2015

Major brands had no interest in smartwatch apps until the Apple Watch, says big developer

Y Media Lab, which creates smartphone and tablet apps for thousands of clients, says that major brands showed no interest in smartwatch apps prior to the announcement of the Apple Watch. The company’s clients include big-name brands like the BBC, Sesame Street, eBay, Disney and Bank of America, reports Business Insider.

Marketing director Robbie Abed said that he couldn’t recall a single client request a smartwatch app before the Apple Watch debut, but some have “already decided” they want an app for Apple’s wearable, while others are asking whether it should form part of their marketing plans.

Even so, Apple may have some work to do to persuade brands that the platform makes sense for them. Abed wouldn’t reveal names or exact numbers, but said that “less that a quarter” of the company’s clients have so far expressed interest in an Apple Watch app.

We’re expecting to see some third-party apps today, with games developers among those hoping to be featured.

We’ll of course be bringing you full coverage of all today’s announcements.

marketing Stories November 19, 2014

Aloompa_-_Bonnaroo_Beacon_Activity

If you’re a retailer, you have two options when it comes to deploying Bluetooth beacons. You can deploy the hardware yourself and build an accompanying mobile app for the experience, or you can open the experience to existing apps that users already have on their device using a beacon network. Some retailers have decided they want to own the experience and have everything go through their own mobile app, but new data suggests that might not be the way to go. expand full story

marketing Stories November 17, 2014

First ACEs Conference for Apple consultants scheduled for May 2015 in New Orleans

A new Apple-focused meetup for consultants is kicking off its inaugural conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, this coming up May. The event is called the ACEs Conference and it’s put on by two members of the Apple community, Justin Esgar and Luis Giraldo, both of whom run Apple consultant businesses in Manhattan and Canada, respectively. The two describe the event as being for Apple consultants by Apple consultants:

The Aces Conference is the first of its kind. Apple consultants teaching Apple consultants not only tips and tricks of tech, but of business too. Learn how to be a better consultant, a better technician, a better everything at Aces Conf.

marketing Stories September 15, 2014

Apple-watch-team

Apple has now named new Marketing and Medical VPs for its Apple Watch team following the product’s official unveiling earlier this month. The company has also today posted its first job listing seeking software engineers for the Apple Watch team on its website.  expand full story

marketing Stories August 13, 2014

 

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Following the recent hire of a former Burberry and Nike social marketing executive to run Apple’s new social media arm, a few job listings on Apple’s website point to an attempt to bolster the company’s retail marketing team. A few of the positions were outlined by ifo Apple Store earlier today and seem to point toward an increased focus on building and maintaining customer loyalty to the Apple brand.

We’ve heard time and again that Apple customers, particularly iPhone users, are among the most loyal, but it seems Apple believes there’s still more to be done in that department. One of these new job listings calls for a “Program Manager — Loyalty, Global Retail Marketing,” which would focus on creating “learning and services strategies” designed to inspire loyalty among Apple’s user base.

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marketing Stories April 15, 2014

Image: amongtech.com

Image: amongtech.com

Another interesting revelation from the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent trial: concerned about launching attack ads on a company that was a customer as well as a competitor, Samsung sought to persuade Google to “launch a campaign against Apple.”

The then CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, emailed his chief marketing officer to ask:

As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing. If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?

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marketing Stories April 11, 2014

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Following this week’s revelations that Apple SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller is unhappy with the direction of the company’s advertising and agency, and that Apple is considering hiring as many as four new digital agencies to further enhance its advertising efforts, it seems the company has added a formidable new member to its marketing team.

17_london-2012-olympic-logo-pink-blueAd Age reports that Apple has hired Karl Heiselman, who is currently the CEO of the Wolff Olins branding agency. Heiselman will take on an undisclosed role in the company’s marketing arm next month, he confirmed. This won’t be the executive’s first time in Cupertino. Heiselman previously worked for Apple in the ’90s as a design contractor.

At Wolff Olins, Heiselman headed up numerous high tech and high profile branding efforts including Product (RED) for Bono, the 2012 Olympics for London (right) and numerous Microsoft campaigns including the ill-fated Kin. The company also churned out “re-invention” for brands such as Aol, Sony, Skype, Belkin and Firefox… expand full story

marketing Stories April 8, 2014

Samsung today posted a series of ads for its new Galaxy Pro tablets and with them continues the theme of directly mocking Apple. This time the target is the iPad Air. In one ad called “Multi User” (above), Samsung highlights the ability to have multiple user accounts on the Galaxy Pro tablet, a highly requested feature among iOS users that Samsung notes is still not available on the iPad.

Another ad, titled “Pixel Density” (below) takes on the iPad’s Retina display, claiming that the Galaxy Pro tablet has a better looking display due to a higher pixel density. Samsung’s Tab Pro 10.1 2014 tablet includes a resolution of 2560 x 1600 with a pixel density of 299 compared to the iPad’s 2048 x 1536, 264 ppi display.  expand full story

marketing Stories March 17, 2014

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Apple’s former Vice President of Marketing Allison Johnson talked about her time at Apple during the 99U conference, as reported by Cult of Mac. Johnson now works with companies like Jawbone and Anki.

In the video, Johnson discusses her time working with Steve Jobs, including his response to the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate” issue. Johnson describe’s Jobs as being “so sad and so angry” about the problem, declaring that Apple would not be the kind of company that people regarded negatively.

She also talks about her role (and Jobs’) in marketing the original iPhone and other key events in the six years she was in charge of the company’s marketing.

The full twenty-five minute interview is included below:

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marketing Stories December 30, 2013

Apple hires NYT Magazine design director Arem Duplessis for creative role

In an interview with Mediabistro published earlier today (via Engadget), Design Director of The New York Times Magazine Arem Duplessis reveals that he’s leaving the magazine for a new role at Apple as a Creative Director. Duplessis worked as Design Director at the The New York Times for nearly ten years and still lists the position as current on his LinkedIn profile, but in the interview said he’ll begin his new role in Cupertino this February.No word on exactly what Duplessis will be doing, but he will at the very least be working with the internal marketing team.

Before his almost 10 years at The New York Times, Duplessis worked as design director at GQ and Spin magazine. A few of the New York Times covers that he served as Art Director on are above.

marketing Stories December 18, 2013

Comparing the newest Apple, Nokia marketing spots makes us weep for humanity

There’s been no shortage of debate regarding Apple’s latest holiday commercial as some have found it inspiring and emotional as others find it ridiculous and lacking a clear message. There will be debate in the coming weeks over Apple’s intentions with the message and whether or not they succeeded in tugging at our heartstrings. That being said, Apple looks like a gem, an angel, a bright light on a dark road compared to Nokia’s newest ad for the Lumia 2520. It’s true that Apple may have paused its traditional product-first advertising angle and replaced it with an arguably emotional holiday spot for the iPhone 5s, but it works leaps and bounds better than Nokia’s latest embarrassing excuse for advertising.

marketing Stories October 31, 2013

Apple to Devs: Gold iPhone not best for marketing materials

Earlier this month we reported that Apple had changed its developer marketing guidelines after years of only allowing images of the black iPhone in marketing material. Since Apple’s new lineup of iPhones features a number of new colors for the device for the first time, we noted that Apple tweaked its guidelines to allow other colors of the device, including white and certain iPhone 5c colors. Now, Apple has updated its guidelines once again, this time specifically excluding the gold iPhone 5s from the list of colors allowed in photography and video marketing material (via MacRumors):

Feature only the most current Apple products in the following finishes or colors: iPhone 5s in silver or space gray, iPhone 5c in white or blue, iPad Air in silver or space gray, and iPad mini in silver or space gray. If multiple Apple products are shown, display them in the correct relative sizes.

You’ll notice that it’s also not allowing certain colors of the iPhone 5c (only blue and white are listed), so gold specifically doesn’t seem to be the issue. As it did previously, Apple provides downloads of iPhone images for developers to place their screenshots on and use for marketing purposes. Those downloads are limited to the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 5s in Silver/white and Space Gray, and the iPhone 5c and iPod touch in black and blue models.

It’s unclear Apple’s reasoning for not allowing the gold model of the iPhone 5s and certain colors of the iPhone 5c. It could possibly be due to Apple’s desire to keep the popular colors unique to its own marketing material, or perhaps Apple thinks screenshots do not show as well on certain colors as they do on black and silver models.

marketing Stories August 11, 2013

iPhone 5S/5C physical mockups

<a href="http://9to5mac.com/2013/08/10/new-mockups-claim-to-show-iphone-5s-and-iphone-5c-designs-gallery/">iPhone 5S/5C physical mockups</a>

Apple’s next two iPhone models will be named iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, according to a report from Japan-based Macotakara. With repeated reports and rumors of the next-generation iPhone retaining the same design as the iPhone 5, the “iPhone 5S” name has long been claimed and regarded as the name of the new flagship iPhone. Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 3GS retained the designs of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G, respectively.

However, because of Apple’s surprise naming scheme for the third-generation iPad (The new iPad), an outright claim of the name “iPhone 5S” may be important to some interested in the upcoming device.

As for the “iPhone 5C,” this name gained attention when purported packaging materials for the upcoming, lower-cost, plastic iPhone surfaced in photos online. It is unclear what the “C” in “5C” could stand for, but speculation and logic points to the “C” standing for “color.” Like recent iPod touch models, this plastic iPhone is rumored to come in a series of colors…

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marketing Stories June 11, 2013

phil-schillerYesterday at its WWDC keynote presentation, alongside the expected design overhaul in Apple’s upcoming iOS 7, the company briefly showed off a slightly new direction for its ad campaigns going forward. While it kicked off the presentation with a video describing its focus for the new simplified design elements in iOS 7 (below), Bloomberg reports that its latest ad (above), which just started appearing on TV last night, marks a new direction for Apple’s marketing efforts. It also claims that Apple’s meetings regarding the company’s marketing message have become less focused following Steve Jobs’ death now that Apple’s senior vice president of marketing Phillip Schiller is in charge: expand full story

marketing Stories May 22, 2013

According to Forbes, long time technology analyst Michael Gartenberg has joined Apple. According to the report he is now officially working under the marketing team led by Phil Schiller. Gartenberg has always been Apple-focused/leaning in his coverage and a contributor to Macworld magazine among other endeavors.

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marketing Stories May 13, 2013

T-Mobile-iPhone-5-pricing

When T-Mobile introduced the iPhone 5 for $99 down, many were quick to point out that the device would cost much less than the $649 Apple charges, costing customers a total of $579 after completing T-Mobile’s $20/month, 24 month payment plan. However, T-Mobile didn’t talk much about the fact that $99 down price point was introductory pricing that would eventually increase. Today marks the end of T-Mobile’s introductory pricing, as noted by TmoNews, with the carrier increasing the minimum down payment on an iPhone 5 for qualified customers to $149 for the entry level 16GB model.

All other models of the iPhone will see the same $50 increase with the 32GB and 64GB models now requiring a $249 and $349 down payment on T-Mobile 24 month payment plan. Despite the increase, it still gives T-Mobile the cheapest pricing on iPhone 5 around with the total cost of the entry level 16GB model now $629. That’s $20 less than the retail price of the unlocked device.

Although today marks the end of introductory promotional pricing for the iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, the carrier will continue to offer its trade in offer on previous generation iPhones to allow customers to get an iPhone 5 for $0 down. expand full story

marketing Stories April 16, 2013

T-Mobile USA starts running another TV ad for iPhone 5

Following last week’s launch, U.S. carrier T-Mobile has begun airing its second TV ad for the iPhone 5. It is of similar style to the first ad as it explains T-Mobile’s new no-contract approach. Thanks, Matthew! 

marketing Stories April 8, 2013

Notification abuse, too, led to AppGratis’s push out of the App Store

This past weekend, popular application discover app AppGratis was removed from Apple’s App Store. Many had correctly assumed that the application was pulled from the store because of Apple’s Developer Guidelines 2.25 clause:

2.25 Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.

Any app that functions too similar to Apple’s own App Store, even if it routes users to complete the download via the App Store, will be rejected. If they already exist on the store, they will be removed. This Apple policy became stringent following the release of iOS 6 last fall.

While the app was removed for breaking this policy, AllThingsD reports that Apple has confirmed that the app was also removed for abusing Apple’s push notification system.

5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

Discovery apps that utilize a different, non-promotional business model seem to be safe.

marketing Stories March 13, 2013

Samsung’s ad budget exploded past Apple and the rest of the field in 2012

We have been hearing much about Samsung’s advertising efforts in recent months including its efforts crafting the now well-known ad campaign mocking iPhone line sitters, to some of the companies recent marketing tactics used to target iPhone users. Last night The Wall Street Journal published a new piece outlining Samsung’s increasingly aggressive advertising thanks to new data from research firm Kantar Media. According to the report, Samsung passed Apple in 2012 for ad spending by around $68M in the US:

Outspent by rival Apple Inc. more than three to one in advertising for mobile phones in the U.S. in 2011, Samsung responded with a marketing blitz on TV, billboards, the Internet and print media that moved the Korean company into the pole position last year… In 2012, Samsung spent $401 million advertising its phones in the U.S. to Apple’s $333 million, according to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media.

Apple spent more than three times Samsung on marketing its mobile devices in 2011. If a slew of recent media reports is any indication, including one from Apple’s own former ad man Ken Segall, many seem to think Apple is losing its advertising momentum to Samsung.

The Wall Street Journal added that executives at carriers said Samsung “also spends more on “below the line” marketing than any device maker. Those funds help pay for in-store advertising, promotions and training for carrier sales representatives that help close the sale.”

To put the spending in perspective for the global smartphone market, Tech/telco analyst Benedict Evans noted the figures above account for around 10% of Samsung global ad budget compared to 1/3 of Apple’s, which also somewhat reflects sales proportions.

marketing Stories February 14, 2012

While Samsung does not think Apple can compete in the television market (and it is not alone), the company is moving aggressively to win over Apple’s fan base with the now infamous ‘Samsunged’ campaign— a cornerstone of the South Korean conglomerate’s communications strategy. So, who is behind those pesky adverts? Director Bobby Farrelly, who is the brother of movie director Peter Farrelly of the “There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Kingpin fame.”

However, it was Samsung’s ad agency 72andSunny that hired Farrelly to film a series of anti-Apple adverts depicting bored Apple fans waiting in line for a new iPhone. The mocking began last November and culminated with a 90-second Super Bowl commercial for the 5.3-inch Galaxy Tab device with a stylus. An interesting profile by AdWeek revealed some of the secrets and tactics marketers use to talk iPhone fans into considering Samsung products for their next gadget.

Click here for key takeaways.

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marketing Stories February 3, 2012

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3H8v5XEkVAk]

Update: Apple had these videos taken offline.  We will make an effort to see if they exist somewhere else. Help us out in the comments if you find them.

Former Apple marketing executive Bob Borchers, who was part of the original iPhone team and helped lead the Nike+iPod partnership and third-party iPod integration with car manufacturers, recently gave a talk at a school in California to discuss his experiences at Apple (part 2 below). In case you are unfamiliar, you might remember Borchers from several “guided tour” videos for iPhone and other Apple products a few years back. He has also been a source for many of the interesting stories coming from Adam Lashinsky’s new book “Inside Apple.”

At the starting of his talk to students, Borchers surveys the crowd to find out the ratio of Android users to iPhone users, leading him to joke: “Alright that’s good. I’ll keep my Apple stock.” As a former marketing executive, Borchers showed and talked about a few ads, but also discussed the AT&T partnership, as he noted, “We broke rules in terms of how we worked with folks like AT&T”:

“AT&T as a company… they buy the cellphones and then they sell them to you and I… we said, ‘no we don’t want to do that’. We want to be able to sell the iPhone. We want to be able to talk directly to the customer. That was a big, big change for the industry.” 

Other than telling some recent stories that have debuted in “Inside Apple,” Borchers also talked about Steve Jobs’ initial mission to create the iPhone, describing the late CEO as wanting to create “the first phone people would fall in love with.” He also discussed how important the multitouch display and having the full “Internet in your pocket” was to the original concept. Before wrapping up his speech, Borchers talked about how the iPhone was developed from his point of view on the product marketing/product management team and the importance of Apple packaging:

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marketing Stories February 1, 2012

last year’s 

The iPhone maker is many things to many people and it is easy to overlook Apple’s powerful marketing amidst the popularity of its gadgets. Yet, the two are inseparably intertwined. No wonder well-known names in business are (again) taking cues from Apple’s marketing cookbook, including United States specialty retailer of consumer electronics Best Buy that uncharacteristically decided to break away from the usual Super Bowl advertising featuring celebrities, which seems to be norm these days.

Instead, its new approach calls for celebrating technology innovators, a concept Apple popularized back in 1997 with the “Think Different” campaign. According to Bloomberg, the retailer opted to feature Silicon Valley inventors, such as Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom and camera phone pioneer Philippe Kahn who will help bring home the message at Sunday’s big game. From the mouth of Best Buy’s Marketing Chief Drew Panayiotou:

Big brands like to hire celebrities. We looked at everyone from George Clooney to Stephen Colbert. We believe the inventors are more than enough. I give those 125 million viewers a lot of credit. I think they’ll appreciate the story. […] They may not be at the same level as Steve Jobs, but they created some amazing stuff.

Eagle-eyed readers could point out that the retailer last holiday season aired Apple-focused adverts promoting its store-within-a-store displays, seen below. However, Best Buy’s latest creative concept marks a departure from its past Super Bowl campaigns that tapped celebrities, such as heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Meanwhile, a Taiwanese vendor is treading the fine line between originality and a display of disrespectfulness by featuring a Steve Jobs imitator to drum up excitement for its upcoming Android slab. Check it out that commercial in a clip included right after the break.

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marketing Stories January 20, 2012

Samsung is continuing its anti-Apple rant with a new television commercial titled “Samsunged.” Once more, the South Korean conglomerate laughs off those who would wait in line for a new iPhone. The commercial opens with the familiar scene as line waiters get a visit from their Galaxy SII-toting friend, and they promptly feel envious over his phone’s turn-by-turn navigation capabilities.

When asked by a girl waiting in the line how much he had paid for the navigation app, the Android person responded: “I didn’t, Galaxy S II just has it – it just comes with it.”  To that, one of the Apple fans remarked angrily: “Ooooh, we just got Samsunged!”

It is also worth noting that the advertisement subtly pokes fun at the iPhone 4S’s same design as the iPhone 4, as well as its widely reported battery issues. The commercial starts out with the line’s awaiting customers eagerly watching a streaming video of the device they are hoping to buy being unveiled online, and upon seeing the device, one customer sighed: “Awe, that looks like last year’s phone.” The scene immediately transitions into the Galaxy S II user bringing his friends a white smartphone charger, presumably because their device’s battery is almost dead.

Apple fans are obviously going to be seeing more of these advertisements as the Super Bowl approaches. It is certainly interesting, though, that these commercials paint Samsung customers as hipsters.

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