advertising purpose

Purpose beats benefits

It’s good to know what benefits your product offers, but really powerful brands have a purpose – a point of view on how they believe the world should be. This reason to exist can create an authentic connection with people and a guiding narrative for the business.


Steve Jobs’ other big presentation this week

After the hoopla of WWDC, it’s an interesting counterpoint to see Steve Jobs in a more regular business presentation – this one to the local Cupertino council about their proposed new campus.

The natural salesman in Steve shines through, and he outlines the benefits simply and passionately. Proof that any material can be made compelling.

It’s also another testament to Apple’s unhindered visions – they’re not just getting a new campus, but taking a shot at making the best office building in the world

via macrumors

advertising disruption e-commerce

Did Apple just landgrab the mobile ad market?

When I heard that Apple had bought a mobile ad company, I was quite surprised – it seemed a bit run of the mill for a ‘magical’ brand like theirs.

So watching Steve Jobs introduce the iAd platform at yesterday’s iPhone 4.0 preview yesterday, I wasn’t expecting much.

But it’s just possible, as Del Trotter might have said, that “they’ve only gone and bloody done it”.

And it is pure testament to unconstrained thinking. Audaciously, they’ve not only decided to get in the mobile ad game, but redefine it. And do better-than-TV along the way. AND suggest that search driven ads (hello Google) don’t work for mobile.

Check out the video. What do you think?

Full video here


But this has got a bigger hard drive. And bluetooth. And…

The biggest mistake a technology company can make is to think that they’re a technology company. It leads to the mistaken belief that better tech spec means better product means market success.


David Hepworth is an unmissable writer on entertainment and culture, and also occasionally strays into marketing. This piece on the the difficulty of competing with Apple on rational grounds struck a chord:

Playing with it [a Sony Walkman] just now it struck me how difficult it must be in the personal electronics space these days, having to compete with Apple. It doesn’t matter how many qualities your product might have, Apple is the one that holds the high ground where dwells desire. A year ago a young friend demonstrated all the features of his iPod competitor, many of which were superior to Apple, but he did it more in sorrow than conviction, as if he knew that the playground prestige battle had already been lost

It reminded me of this similar article in Penny Arcade, which nailed it so brutally and beautifully that every tech CEO should staple it to his desk.

It’s got to be so annoying to compete with Apple… when you come out with what is (on paper) a better version of the same thing, maybe even multiple times over, it’s too late.  You made a “product” to compete with their “product,”… only to discover that they hadn’t made a product at all – they made a narrative.  A statement about how technology should interface with a life.


How to really *sell* a new product

fake steve labelled this “How our NLP embedding works”. Lol!


Everything you ever needed to know about branding in 67 seconds

Steve Jobs on Apple’s brand values

[edit] via 9t05mac


Will Steve make us shit in our pants next Wednesday?

With rumour and excitement around Apple’s newest creation hitting fever pitch, I’m reminded of this fabulous article from 2003 which recalls Steve Jobs views on the Segway scooter prototype. It offers a rare insight into the great man’s thinking and his exacting standards around product design. His criteria are instructive and wonderful:

  1. Is it elegant
    A beautiful word, and something that sets Apple’s products apart. Even power adaptors have to be gorgeous.
  2. Is it innovative
    A much used word, but in Apple’s case it’s evidently true
  3. Is it anthropomorphic
    OMG have you ever even thought of word that when considering products? Maybe one of the reasons that pinch-to-resize, flick-to-scroll and shake-to-undo are so compelling is that they feel right. It’s human. It’s like real life.

Steve also seems to believe in launching and committing with absolute ferocity. ‘Putting it out there’ and getting a bit of impact is cautious and prudent. Your CFO will like that approach. But it’s not for Steve,

“I understand the appeal of a slow burn,” he concluded, “but personally I’m a big-bang guy.”

Finally, and this is the killer test, Apple understand the wow factor, the ability to deliver jaw dropping moments. Jobs is quite clear on this one…

You have this incredibly innovative machine but it looks very traditional.” The last word delivered like a stab… “There are design firms out there that could come up with things we’ve never thought of,” Jobs continued, “things that would make you shit in your pants.”

Here’s to next Wednesday…