Apple’s honesty policy


When most businesses advertise they scream out the messages they want people to absorb, while doggedly ignoring any negative news, even if that negative news is what everyone’s actually talking about.

Advertising, for most companies, is a time for rampant propaganda. Corporations create new realities based on their desired vision of a world that orbits their glorious product.

Half-baked Apples

Apple’s ad for their new telephone is refreshingly honest. When Apple released the first version of the iPhone, many people said they would wait for a 3g version. So, for many people, the 3g version was something they had been waiting for. Apple’s advertising is speaking the same language as the public. When I saw this ad, I was struck because it felt like I was listening to one of my geek friends.

Apple’s honest approach means their ad blends right in with my world. The ad’s message doesn’t jar. It just picks up the ongoing conversation. This is a very powerful persuasive technique.

Having the confidence to be honest

I’m surprised that Apple are confident enough to be so honest, because the ad admits a failing: the original iPhone was not what many people wanted. Many people viewed the first iPhone as a stop-gap – a product not worth buying. By saying that the new phone is the one everyone’s been waiting for, Apple are admitting that their initial offering was half-baked. But that’s okay, because it was.

Perhaps the marketing lesson here is that sometimes it’s better to address negative news head-on. Ignoring negatives can make them loom larger. Apple neatly twist something less-than-perfect into something that effortlessly merges with the real world.


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