Ina Fried

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Apple’s New Ads Aim to Show the Genius of its Macs

While most of Apple’s recent TV ads have focused on the iPad and iPhone, the company has a new campaign focused on the other part of its business — the Mac.

The unifying force in the ads is the presence of the Apple Store “Geniuses.” In each spot, they are free of their retail confines. In one called “Mayday,” a Genius helps several people on an airplane finish up their work in the few minutes, before the plane lands. In another ad, called “Labor Day,” a neighbor knocks on the door of the Apple Store Genius to get help because his wife is in labor.

But rather than wanting, say, an ambulance or a ride to the hospital, this guy wants to talk about making birth announcements on iPhoto.

Perhaps the most poignant of the three new spots is one titled “Basically,” in which a guy shows the Genius a box with a laptop he says is “basically” like a Mac. The Apple Store guy asks if it has iPhoto iMovie and Garage Band.

The guy shakes his head.

“So, this is nothing like a Mac,” the guy asks. Um, no, the Genius says.

All of the Apple ads are designed to subtly reinforce two things. First, they help further cement the image of Apple Store employees as knowledgable folks that can help one understand their computer. Second, the ads are designed to position the Mac against a wave of Ultrabooks that aim to emulate the thin and light characteristics of the MacBook Air.

If you haven’t seen them, they are posted on Apple’s Web site.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus