New global Apple campaign is beautiful but bland

Here’ another of those ‘feel-good but don’t say anything much’ ads that have become a torrent recently – this one from TBWA Media Arts Lab for Apple’s iPad Air (which sounds quite an important product, fusing the iPad with a laptop variant). We’ve had such efforts recently from Coke – with ‘Reasons to Believe’ and Honda in the US with ‘things are quite good really – or some such nonsense.

As ever, with Apple, it’s done with a certain style, enlisting bits from the Robin Williams film Dead Poets Society.

It looks nice too. But it doesn’t say much does it?

So why are the world’s mega-advertisers tripping down this route. Certainly with Apple and Coke it seems to have something to do with the attempt to produce a campaign that works everywhere, that can be instantly global without any need to adapt it for different markets. Go straight on to YouTube, in other words.

The upshot of such an approach has always been blandness of course; perhaps because of the fear that you’ll offend someone somewhere if you dig too deep.

So what you end up with is a kind of cosmetic company version of a corporate ad. Would the late Steve Jobs – who liked his ads to say something about the product and was a crotchety so-and-so – have approved this?

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