Apple's going decidedly old world for their newest ad campaign, pushing their "Designed by Apple in California" series onto 2-page spreads in major North American newspapers, including Saturday's Montreal Gazette, pictured above. Nostalgia has been something Apple's appealed to in the past - that sense of better, simpler, more personal times and places, where friends and family, important moments and memorable music, craftsmanship and quality were the things that inspired and empowered us, and were among the values that mattered most.
I've already written about what I think it means in terms of regionalism and responsibility. Some have theorized they're targeted internally at Apple's own, and others have said they're not as effective at reaching mainstream consumers. Allusions have even been made to Apple's classic "Think Different" campaign, claiming "Designed by Apple in California" is to Tim Cook's first act what that was to Steve Jobs' second.
Regardless, they seem to me to be more brand ads than product ads, statements of identity and purpose than sales pitches. Their job doesn't seem to be to sell more iPhone or iPads, iPods or Macs, at least not overtly or directly, but to sell more Apple subtly and pervasively.
"Designed by Apple in California" doesn't seem to have clicked everywhere or for everyone yet, and may not even over time. But it gets "design", "Apple", and "California" linked in people's thoughts, and in their commentary, and that's a change from what the discussions and word associations might have been previously.
You can check out some other variants over at 9to5Mac. If Apple's running an ad in your local paper, throw a link below and let me know what you think about the campaign.
This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a product. How it makes someone feel. When you start by imagining what it might be like, you step back. You think.
Who will this help? Will it make life better? Does this deserve to exist? If you are busy making everything, how can you perfect anything?
We don't believe in coincidence or dumb luck. There are a thousand "no's" for every "yes". We spend a lot of time on a few great things. Until every idea we touch, enhances each life it touches.
We're engineers and artists. Craftsmen and inventors. We sign our work. You may rarely look at it, but you'll always feel it. This is our signature, and it means everything.
Designed by Apple in California