‘Designed By Apple In California’ TV Commercials: Big Flops, Or Preaching To The Choir?

Surprise! Samsung’s new lackey ad agency did a survey and found that Apple’s new ‘Designed by Apple in California‘ TV commercials are a big flop. The problem with such amateur analysis is that only Apple knows the target of the commercials, and only Apple can determine the message and the impact.

Video advertising has many responsibilities, not the least of which is the need to get customers in the door to buy products. TV commercials can be used to get customers to switch sides, or, simply preach to the choir.

Apple’s original Think Different commercials were award winners, but certainly didn’t bring new converts from Windows to the Mac. If the ads were such classics, why not?

The Think Different campaign was preaching to the choir. They were aimed at Apple’s employees, and Apple’s customers, and were not designed to attract the masses away from Windows to the Mac. They may have been award winning and memorable but they didn’t add to the bottom line. But they may have helped Apple’s employees and customers view the company and their products in a positive light.

The new ‘Designed by Apple in California’ campaign likely carries a similar responsibility. It tells Apple’s story from Apple’s perspective– to Apple employees, and provides a similar, reassuring warm and fuzzy feeling to Apple’s many customers that Apple’s products are unique.

That’s not unlike the feel good commercials McDonald’s uses almost ad nauseam. It isn’t easy to calibrate what an average viewer feels about a TV commercial in a survey, as Samsung’s ad agency tried to do. Indeed, Apple’s products are more about feeling than competitors products, and that’s always been the case with Apple.

Ad campaigns come and go through the years. Some have impact and are memorable. Others are there to reinforce an image and to differentiate a company and product from the competition. It’s likely that ‘Designed by Apple in California’ has more cachet around the world than some competitors.

For example, a mock slogan for the Galaxy maker, ‘Samsung, copied from Apple, made of plastic by children in China that Apple refused to hire, and shipped in huge numbers because they break easily and need to be replaced, not repaired.’


  1. No one I know looks at or listens to commercials anymore. Apple device users all. They do not have time as they are doing useful things on their devices. Life is to short for time wasting commercial watching or listening.

  2. Kate nice piece. I feel very much the same but have a slightly different perspective on it. Check out my piece I wrote on appletechspot.com.

    Apple is trying to establish the difference in quality of it’s brand if even only at an unconscious level. As I say in my piece I think this current round of ads is similar to the “Crazy Ones” in that it as you point out isn’t designed to cause customers to run to their local Apple store. These current ads I feel are laying a context for future harder-hitting PRODUCT ads in the fall that will also bear the “Signature”.