The attack on Intel continues, hallelujah. William Johnson, Robert E. Lee, George Patton, and Norman Schwartzkoff would all be proud of TBWA/Chiat Day’s Apple television ads. Why, you ask? Because the Apple strategy uses many of the military techniques these famous officers used: speed, surprise, and the most difficult of all, guerrilla warfare. In other words, attacking Intel with quick, hard jabs then moving off to await another opportunity.
The key to all of this is precision and timing. The precision in this case is the quality of the ad. Last week Apple aired the second “Target Pentium II” ad as I call them. In this ad, Apple zeros in once again on the Pentium II’s slower speed by showing a blue Intel “bunny” (that’s what they call them) being extinguished after an encounter with a PowerPC G3 chip (not shown). Once again the visual images are few and simple. It begins by showing what the “bunny” sees out its hood. A fireman appears and proceeds to extinguish the “bunny”. The next scene shows the audience who was being extinguished. There stands a blue Intel “bunny”, its costume singed by the heat, still smoking. A small flame can be seen on the “bunny’s” foot as the person tries to stamp it out. The voice of Richard Dreyfus comes on and apologizes to Intel for the Apple G3 toasting the Pentium II. The scene changes to a panoramic view of a G3 tower system, the screen flipping through images with incredible speed.
The second critical factor in any military action is timing. Once again Apple has chosen to advertise to the appropriate audience. The 18-50 population must be Apple’s target audience. The shows the “Toasted Bunny” ad aired during were once again within their marketing targets, proving that the “Snail ad” wasn’t just lucky.
What could be behind all this activity? The simplest answer is probably best-confidence!. As the good news about Apple continues to come out out, a swagger is returning to Cupertino. “Hey, we’re better and you’re going to hear about it” seems to be the prevalent attitude. The good side of Steve Jobs is showing. He is an acknowledged master at creating excitement and enthusiasm. We can only hope that the confidence doesn’t turn to foolhardiness.
In the meantime, Apple’s television advertising follows the words of General Ulysses S. Grant:
“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.”
A Few Good Ants
A few years back, Budweiser ran a great commercial involving ants, a bottle of Bud (Light, I think), and a party. Although my ad is very different, I must give credit for the original inspiration.
Scene: The same as in both the “Snail” and “Toasted Bunnies” ads, a white background. The camera pans down to see hundreds of ants trying to lift a Pentium II chip up to carry it away. The background music is one of a laborious chant recalling Viking warriors rowing a long boat.
The camera changes to a ground view close-up of one ant who turns and looks over at a much smaller G3 chip. The ant signals to several buddies who rush over and easily lift the G3 chip. The music begins again only playing the theme song to “An Officer and a Gentleman”.
The camera changes to a higher view showing the distinct differences between the two chips as the G3 parades past the Pentium II. The hordes of ants still working on the Intel chip give up and triumphantly march behind the G3 chip. The voice Richard Dreyfus comes on to say, “The PowerPC G3 chip is not only faster than any Pentium II but also is significantly smaller.”
The panoramic view of a G3 laptop appears, information flying across the screen. Then the words “Think Different” appear larger than in previous ads and the Apple logo.
Until next month, if you live near a CompUSA or a Fry’s, go visit the Apple store in a store, even to just buy a magazine or ink. Let customers see as many of us fanatics or just plain happy Mac owners in the store. Apple is doing their part with the television ads, now let’s help them out.
Enjoy the coming of spring!
Mark Marcantonio (MarkMarc@aol.com)