Apple’s Latest Ad: Watchers Say #Fail

Does Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest TV commercial failure reflect the company’s overall struggle to find its bearings during a period without any new products? The so-called “Designed by Apple in California” advertisement has scored well below average with viewers according to Ace Metrix, a consulting firm that uses consumer surveys to analyze the effectiveness of TV commercials reports Bloomberg.

Apple’s new 60-second commercial features a montage of various people across the world using different Apple products as a narrator solemnly intones, “This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a product. How it will make someone feel.” Some viewers surveyed by Ace Metrix said the music in the commercial sounded “sad.”

As the narrator states, the commercial offers no real information on how Apple’s products work or what the company may be planning for the future. Instead, the focus is on how the products make consumers “feel.” According to Ace Metrix, the ad scored a 528 in the category of “Information.” The average score for hardware industry commercials in that metric is 603.

Some commentators believe that Apple’s latest ad is a reflection of its struggle to find a coherent message before it launches its next big product. Without a current “must-have product” to anchor its advertising message, the Cupertino-based company seems to have resorted to simply selling the “feelings” that are associated with its products.

Other viewers may take offense to the commercial’s “Designed by Apple in California” tagline that appears as the narrator states, “This is our signature and it means everything.” Edward Boches, a professor of advertising at Boston University, asked via Bloomberg, “Is this a subtle way of saying we’re not a Korean company? That’s not the way a leader like Apple should talk.”

Apple’s focus on its California roots may also strike some viewers as hypocritical since the company has previously been criticized for worker suicides at its China-based factories. The company has also recently been under scrutiny for its overseas tax practices that helped it to avoid billions in U.S. taxes.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

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