TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jun 96 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:6
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

By Don Crabb

I am sitting here on the beach in Aruba reading a copy of Caribbean Week. I know, I know, it’s a dirty job, but I have to do it! Anyway, I’m sitting here trying not to spill my piña colada on the paper or on this PowerBook 5300ce (which tends to react rather poorly to cold alcholic beverages poured into the keyboard), when I hit upon an Apple ad (page 17, 1/3 page, four-color, for those who care) for the Performa.

The ad asks if I “Need help with your work?” And answers its own question with, “Then you need a computer that works as hard as you do.” These tag lines float above and below a photo of a beleaguered-looking guy at his desk, awash in stacks of paper, as he is clearly burning the midnight oil without a computer in sight. The ad further tells us with color highlighted tags that the Macintosh Performa is “Easier to use” and “More Affordable” as well as “#1 in Multimedia in the World.” The Performa is also hailed for its “integrated Software” and “CD-ROM”.

The ad’s body copy is clean enough:

“Welcome to Macintosh Performa, the complete solution that offers you the best return for your investment. Fax information to your clients or contact them through e-Mail and use the CD-ROM to help you create and author your own spectacular multimedia presentations. And perform many other operations easier and faster than with any other computer.

“Macintosh Performa also reads DOS and Windows files, and includes many bundled software titles and CD-ROMs for your business and entertainment needs. It’s easy to install, and like all Apple products, very easy to use. At your fingertips you have options that include creating 3D graphics, video conferencing, or virtual reality. No other computer does so much for so little because it’s not only what the computer can do, it’s what you can do with a Macintosh. Apple. The Power to be your best.”

OK, why I am on going on about what seems like a pretty standard Performa ad, albeit in a pretty nonstandard place, Caribbean Week?

Because this ad is a mess, and it’s advertising like this that is hurting Apple’s developers by sending either wrong or misguided messages to potential customers. Apple can’t afford to waste any more of its marketing money on this sort of unfocused ad du jour. Here’s why and what they should do about it.

First of all, Apple, no more ads that don’t focus on a single theme. Stop the mixed messages and the “all things to all people” nonsense. This Performa ad shows us a paper-bedraggled office worker working without the aid of a PC. Yet your ad copy touts the Performa’s ability to “perform many other operations easier and faster than with any other computer”. Damn, the poor guy in the ad could work smarter and faster if you gave him an old 128K Mac, let alone a Performa! But not only do you tout the Performa’s ability to kick the ass of mere mortal machines, it can also kiss their ass if need be: “Macintosh Performa also can read DOS and Windows files.” Well, yippy, skippy!

Leaping from a poor slob with no PC in sight to amazing feats of computation and competitor cooperation is also just plain dumb.

Oh, but I digress. Let’s get back to the ad copy. Consider the first graph body copy. The tag there tells us, “Welcome to Macintosh Performa, the complete solution that offers you the best return for your investment.” Fair enough. A good line to play off the picture of the paper-bedraggled office guy. But then read how you get off that track and onto the current Mac mantra: “Fax information to your clients or contact them through e-Mail and use the CD-ROM to help you create and author your own spectacular multimedia presentations.”

This ad is running in Caribbean Week, not the Wall Street Journal. Faxing may be hot in Europe, the Far East, and the States, but faxing in the Caribbean is not nearly so widespread. Remember, these are islands here. Each with its own phone system and interisland tariffs. So, while you may find intraisland faxing big on Aruba, just trying to find a working phone on Nevis or St. Kitts may be the order of the day.

But as suspect as the faxing line is, the notice of building “spectacular multimedia presentations” just floored me. I am still laughing at that one. And so is the guy sitting next to me here on Aruba. He happens to be the manager of the hotel I am staying at. I showed him the ad, and he’s rocking. I asked him how many “spectacular multimedia presentations” he needed to do this week, and he laughed even harder. You see, he doesn’t need CD-ROMs, or e-Mail, or fax modems, or the ability to read DOS and Windows files, or video conferencing, or 3D, or virtual reality (believe it or not). He needs reliable computers and a server networked together in his hotel’s business office so he can keep track of his guests, his rooms, his staff, his inventory, and the thousand other basic business tasks he attends to each day.

After all the laughter subsided, I asked him what sort of computer systems he had in place, and why. “Let me show you,” he said. So I took a look. He had a very new Compaq Pentium Pro server driving 14 different Pentium workstations, all with the same prebuilt menu offering the task choices his people needed. I noted that none of those tasks were virtual reality, 3D, video conferencing, or even spectacular multimedia presentations. No, the manager said, none of the things Apple touted in its ad were the capabilities he needed at his hotel. And he doubted that many other business people on Aruba would be much impressed with those Apple features, either.

So, I decided to do a little survey. I hopped into my rental car and spent an otherwise pleasant sunny afternoon checking out other hotels, stores, restaurants, even some government offices and a couple of schools. I couldn’t find a single manager who thought any of the Performa’s advantages would matter a tinker’s damn to them. To a person, the story was the same: they need computers that are reliable at accounting, database, word processing, inventory, and related basic business chores. A few were excited that such things as spectacular multimedia presentations might be coming down the road for them, but they doubted they’d buy Macs just to get those features. “Besides,” one asked, “won’t the PC guys have that stuff too?”

OK, let me move from the case of the Performa ad to the larger problem of Apple marketing and advertising. Since forever, Apple has tried to bite off more than it could chew. Nothing wrong with that in some respects, but when the entire company works that way, it becomes a serious problem. Apple advertising is a good example. It must stop trying to invent the need for everything “hot” the Mac can do, and sell the basics that its markets need.

Futher, Apple needs to figure out precisely where its market are and where it would like them to be, and then target those markets with advertising that speaks to their issues, not ads that have stale boilerplate copy ladled into them like one ladles old soup into a fresh pot in the hopes the restaurant patrons won’t notice.

Well, Apple, your patrons are noticing. You’re leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who have already been seated at the Macintosh table, and you’re putting off potential diners because you keep giving them menus that don’t make sense - rare char-broiled steak served cold with a side of chocolate ice cream, preceded by an appetizer of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, washed down with a Lafitte ’65. The individual items are great, in and of themselves, but the complete menu is a disaster.

Apple, you need to get your master chef to crank you out some sensible menus. Until then, too many potential customers will be dining elsewhere. Or laughing at your menus...

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airfoil 5.1.2 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Firefox 49.0.1 - Fast, safe Web browser.
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
Default Folder X 5.0.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.1 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Pinegrow Web Designer 2.94 - Mockup and...
Pinegrow Web Designer is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation, Angular JS, and... Read more
ExpanDrive 5.4.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.1.3 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click app installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on... Read more
VOX 2.8.6 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
Espionage 3.6.6 - Simple, state-of-the-a...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
VOX 2.8.6 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more

3 tips for catching the gnarliest waves...
Like a wave breaking on the shore, Tidal Rider swept its way onto the App Store charts this week settling firmly in the top 10. It’s a one-touch high score-chaser in which you pull surfing stunts while dodging seagulls and collecting coins. The... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to destroying...
Age of Heroes: Conquest is 5th Planet Games’ all new turn-based multiplayer RPG, full of fantasy exploration, guild building, and treasure hunting. It’s pretty user-friendly as far as these games go, but when you really get down to it, you’ll find... | Read more »
Infinite Tanks (Games)
Infinite Tanks 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders (FULL)...
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders (FULL) 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders Your weapon is your knowledge. Your wits will be put to the ultimate... | Read more »
HeadlessD (Games)
HeadlessD 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: HeadlessD is hand-painted dungeon crawler with intuitive touch controls and NO in-app purchases. | Read more »
Leaf for Twitter (Social Networking)
Leaf for Twitter 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Banner Saga 2 (Games)
Banner Saga 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The epic award winning story-based role-playing game continues its emotional journey across a breaking world. Lead your Viking... | Read more »
Concrete Jungle (Games)
Concrete Jungle 1.16 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.16 (iTunes) Description: A follow up to the puzzle hit 'MegaCity'! Concrete Jungle is a new take on the city building genre that swaps micro-... | Read more »
5 great apps for the budget traveller
Travelling abroad, or even within your home country, has never been easier thanks to our handy smartphone companions. There are hundreds of apps on the market that promise to make your world journeys hassle-free, but we've selected five of the... | Read more »
Zip—Zap (Games)
Zip—Zap 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Touch to contract.Release to let go.Bring the clumsy mechanical beings home. · · · over 100 levelsno adsno in-app-purchases Zip—... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 32GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $50 o...
B&H Photo has 12″ 32GB WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP -... Read more
Recent price drops on refurbished iPad minis...
Apple recently dropped prices on several Certified Refurbished iPad mini 4s and 2s as well as iPad Air 2s. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 16GB iPad... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available startin...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $928...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $927.99 including free shipping. Their price is $171 off MSRP. Read more
Buying McLaren Would Give Apple Instant Car C...
Apple “iCar” rumors have waxed and waned over the years, piquing interest and speculation as to whether Apple is seriously interested in getting into the automotobile business, either in a joint... Read more
Aetna to Transform Members’ Consumer Health E...
Health care benefits company Aetna, which has an estimated 46.3 million clients, today announced a new initiative to revolutionize members consumer health experience by combining the power of iOS... Read more
USB-IF Announces USB Audio Device Class 3.0 S...
USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the support organization for the advancement and adoption of USB technology, today announced the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification to establish USB Audio over... Read more
Clearance 12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks, App...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks available for $1189, or $410 off original MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free... Read more
Logitech SmartDock and Skype For Business Com...
Logitech has announced Logitech SmartDock, an AV meeting room solution designed in collaboration with Microsoft. Logitech SmartDock works with Skype for Business and qualified devices, including... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $220 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1899.99 $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Raleigh...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
User Support Specialist *Apple* Product Spe...
…Description:Ciber, Inc. is seeking a User Support Specialist - Apple Product Support in Nashville, TN!Responsibilities:Support, implementation, and upgrade of Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.