First, if you haven’t already seen Apple’s new Mac commercial, watch this:
Now, before discussing the ad, please name a brand developed in the last 10 years that was built largely on the strength of its advertising. Go ahead and think a bit if you have to; I’ll wait.
You might be able to name one, dear reader, but I’m betting you’ll have strained a bit to come up with it, and that you’ll only think of just one (assuming you come up with any).
Now, name 5 brands created in the last 10 years (or that at least come onto the national stage within the last 10 years) and built largely on the basis of great user experience / word of mouth with very little to no traditional advertising. Here’s my list:
2) Krispy Kreme
3) StonyField Yogurt
4) Silk (soy milk)
5) Smart Wool
It’s not a definitive list by any means, and I’m sure at least one reader will write me with an example of some kind of ad or PR campaign run by one of those companies, but I trust you get the point: the new Mac commercial isn’t just a satirical poke at Microsoft’s non-response to its problems with Vista; it is indicative of the current marketing climate in general.
Unless you have a message that matters – in other words unless you have a product and customer experience worth talking about – why pay to broadcast it? A false or inane ad message won’t just be tuned our or ignored: it will actively discredit you in the marketplace and might just prove a handy club for your competitors to beat you with.