Apple's New Ads Are Excruciatingly Patronising, But They Aren't For You

We've seen some great ads come out of Apple in the last few years, but the company's newest set of ads playing up Apple's Geniuses are almost painful to watch. I've done some thinking and I've figured out that they're ok, simply because these ads aren't for us.

If you've got this far into an article about Apple's advertising then it's a fair bet you consider yourself tech savvy. That's a good thing, because when I talk about you, me and us, I'm insinuating that you're on top of tech.

Apple's had some crackingly good ads in the last five years. Most notably the comically dry Mac versus PC ads starring Justin Long and John Hodgman and the iPod silhouette ads that showed Apple getting its funk on.

These latest ads though feature Apple Geniuses helping people out with things like iMovie, iPhoto and show the difference between genuine and non-genuine Apple products.

In the first ad, our hipster-looking Genius puts his hand up on a plane to help someone make a short in iMovie before the plane lands. The user is presented as a real numpty with technology and the Genius swoops in to advocate drag and drop of files and shows us just how easy it is to make things.

In the second ad, the same hipster Genius is stopped in the lunch line on the street and told by a man that he just bought a laptop from a slimy computer salesman who told him it was "just like a Mac". The Genius showed him the error of his ways.

The third ad (which is by far the most obnoxious) shows our Genius being woken in the middle of the night by a brand new father whose wife is in the process of giving birth. Rather than tend to his wife who is likely in agony upstairs, he wants the Genius to help him make a photo card to announce the birth. "Hilarity" ensues.

These ads are really patronising. There's none of the subtle humour we saw in the Mac versus PC ads, nor is there any funky fresh graphics or music like we see in the iPod ads. They aren't even quirky or funny like the new Siri ads are. So who are these ads even for?

There's been a long-held belief in the professional community that kept Apple is moving away from making and selling products for them and instead is now pitching to the cashed up consumer segment that replace their devices every two years and line up around the block for every new release. This new campaign confirms that, on an advertising level, Apple has cast the professional market aside.

Vale, the Apple we once knew.

Do you have a favourite Apple ad?



    My favourite of the ads would have to be the Mac Vs Pc ones, but only because there were so many parodies that came out that were hilarious, or proved the original ads completely wrong

      Agreed about 5 billion times. "comically dry"? Try 'dry'. The parodies were the only good things and as you said, ironically, proved how stupid the originals were.

      "We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose." - Steve Jobs.

        Absolutely correct - It's Samsung that has to loose!


    Apple is the new Microsoft in advertising now. They where horrid :(

    It's time to retire "hipster" if we're just going to use it to mean "someone I don't like". We already have a word for that, and it covers both bases.

      Hipsters really do mumble a lot.


      HERPA DERP, THESE ADS ARE PATRONISING. NOW LETS ATTACK THE CHARACTER FOR BEING A STEREOTYPE. Which, realistically, there is no way we can even be sure of. Not that it matters though, because we at Gizmodo are against the openly patronising.

      Gizmodo, i expect more of you. Come on guys.

    Wow , this article is pretentious. Jobs started Apple to put a computer in every home and on every desk.

    Was the iMac for the professional market when it was introduced in 1998? Was the iPod a professional product. What was the pro feature of the iPhone when they launched that? Geez.

    Apple make it simple for everyone to use a computer and do cool things. Just because the creative industry is no longer the sole focus (and bloggers hardly qualify) it's nothing new for Apple.

      Not sure if serious...

      The focus of the ad strategy IS new though. Previous ads were designed to make it seem like Apple consumers were part of an elite, here that strategy is eschewed.
      Given the backlash, they'll probably return to it in some way. People love the idea of being part of an imaginary exclusive club, being thought of as "just another one of the idiots" is not appealing.

      I think the iPod/iPhone is what Luke's referring to.
      Apple used to be for high end computing systems that lasted, and have now moved to a "planned obsolesence" business model, but you can hardly blame them for doing that. (one example of this is the integrated battery of their products - the high replacement cost makes it easy to justify buying a new model rather than replacing the battery in the current one)

      Note: I don't personally own any apple products, but I do see their benefits and commonly recommend them to friends.

      Disagree. Final Cut Pro was THE video editing program of choice for hardcore professionals until it was dumbed down to a premium version of iMovie. Sure Apple shifted its focus at the turn of the century, but it was still the power users who bought their macs and software who are being completely ignored. When was the last Mac Pro update?

        No, No it wasn't. It was THE video editing program for amateur video producers and enthusiasts who had macs.

    Did they actually air this or is this just a parody ? Please tell me they didn't air this..

    iOS. The most outdated smart phone operating system since windows ce.

    I could see the guy playing the genius getting cast in a Ferris Bueller reboot, but other than that I see nothing worth commenting on.

      Thanks for the comment then.

        That wasn't a criticism of the article. I'm just saying that the ads themselves do nothing for me. Which I guess confirms your conclusion that they aren't for me. Kudos for your correct conclusion :)

    The professionals they speak of were the core of apples users, the video editors, graphics professionals etc that needed macs software and hardware solutions that the others just couldn't do as reliably. They featured as the power users that Mac used as examples of what the apple could do. Now, they release final cut as a consumer app, do not release upgraded desktops and generally focus on the people who think hipster ads are 'cool'

      Agreed. Macs used to and I'm guessing still do have a big following in the graphic design areas. Though that was in there RISC days.

    This is my favourite.

    Ooooohhh Yeaaa...beautiful.

    I'd tap that Genius, just saying...

    Ah Apple, been dumbing down the meaning of Genius for a decade.

      Just what I was thinking.

      These adds are stupid

    Those Mac ads go on about being great for movies and fun but Mac doesn't have blu-ray or hardly any games, who they trying to kid?

      oh no! no bluray! If only there was some way to have video without it being on a disc..

        Yeah, because I REALLY want to have to redownload every single bluray movie I own, illegally, just to watch it on my computer.

    Who cares? Why can't you just watch the ad? Why can't everyone hear this guys opinion and move on? We critique the hell out of things, but Jesus, take a look at yourselves, having to comment on everything.
    I normally ignore comments, but when did it get so that every freaking thing has comments???
    Self obsessed people with their own opinions that JUST MUST BE READ.

    Mac used to have games but they sold them to Microsoft. Look up the history of the companies that made halo.

    "There’s been a long-held belief in the professional community that kept Apple is moving away from making and selling products for them and instead is now pitching to the cashed up consumer segment that replace their devices every two years and line up around the block for every new release. "

    Well that's pretty freakin' obvious since the 'cashed up consumer' makes more money for Apple in a year by buying iPhones than the 'professional' community ever did ever.

    Looks like the husband with wife in labour ad has been pulled...

    Poor kids (apple) - it's just a case (pun away) of domination fixation - hehe - nothing lasts forever, forever. Know the end and the journeys forever hilarious.

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