Mike Isaac

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Apple’s New iPhone 5 Ads Are Way Smarter Than the “Genius” Campaign

It’s almost funny that Apple continues to run ad campaigns, seeing as how every product launch of the last six years has been watched more closely than a space shuttle flying over California.

Yet here we are, on iPhone 5 launch weekend, with a new set of TV spots for everyone’s favorite fetish item.

This time around, Apple’s advertising firm has done well. The 30-second shorts focus on specific aspects of why the new device — which doesn’t look terribly different from the two generations of iPhone before it — is indeed better than what you’ve seen come out of Apple before.

“Physics” is a play on the new construction of the iPhone 5, highlighting the reduction in weight and thickness from its predecessors. Those attributes are practically at the top of every reviewer’s list of noteworthy new features, and the ad cleverly conveys as much. “Thumb,” too, highlights the increased screen size, using an appendage as an appropriate yardstick to gauge its utility. “Cheese” and “Ears” go on to highlight other subtle features, like the new panoramic camera shots and Apple’s redesigned headphones.

It’s a good thing Apple nailed these; you’ll remember that the company’s “Genius” campaign — which featured a smug Apple store employee attempting to help clueless members of the public use their Apple devices — was not well-received by many. The ads only ran as a “first run” throughout the beginning of the Olympics, according to Apple’s ad agency TBWA, but many believed that could have been due to the ads’ poor reception.

Thankfully, this new lot is better than the last. Note to Apple: Keep showing off the product, rather than how dumb some of your Genius Bar customers can be.

Cycle through the full suite of new TV spots below and judge them for yourself:


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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo