Why Didn’t Apple Advertise During the Super Bowl?

Lance Ulanoff thinks Apple should have advertised during yesterday’s Super Bowl:

I worry that without Steve Jobs, Apple may have lost some of its fighting spirit. For all his quirks, Jobs was a fighter. He liked to deride the competition and then beat them, as publicly as possible. Imagine if right after the Samsung Super Bowl ad, Apple had run some sort of iconic spot for, say, the Apple iTV: “Television is about to change forever, thanks to the company that, 28 years ago, changed computing forever. Watch…” Now that would’ve been cool. Jobs would have done it.

No he wouldn’t have. The 1984 Super Bowl ad was amazing, but it’s ancient history. An Apple Super Bowl ad yesterday teasing an upcoming product — Apple TV, iPad, anything — would have been a sign of post-Jobs strategic change.

Jobs is only dead for a few months, but Ulanoff has seemingly already forgotten how he ran the company. I can’t remember the last time Apple ran a Super Bowl ad. Super Bowl ads bring high-profile attention to major announcements. Apple doesn’t need to pay for Super Bowl ads to get high-profile attention for major announcements. Apple uses TV advertisements to reinforce the message and branding of its most popular existing products. The Super Bowl is of questionable value for that sort of advertising.

Apple doesn’t tease upcoming products. They announce them when they’re ready. As for Samsung’s ads mocking those who wait in line for new Apple products, I imagine Apple sees no more need to respond than Coke does to Pepsi’s decades-long “we’re happy to be in second place” advertising strategy of making fun of Coke.

Monday, 6 February 2012