July 1, 2014
Apple's in-house commercials — as opposed to outsourced ads created by its longtime collaborator, TBWA\Chiat\Day — are apparently not faring so well among audiences. As reported by Bloomberg, viewer survey scores gathered by research firm Ace Metrix suggest that Apple's very own ads aren't as well received as the ads put out by Media Arts Lab, a TBWA unit that serves only Apple. Take a look at the graph below, whose title refers to the popular TV series set in the advertising world, for a comparison of the audience scores of Apple commercials since late last year and prior to yesterday's "Parenthood" ad. As indicated in the graph, the two best-performing Apple ads since late last year are created by Media Arts Lab. The top ad is the one where musicians use iPhone apps in covering the Pixies song "Gigantic." Actually titled "Powerful," it's the first ad in Apple's ongoing "You're more powerful than you think" ad campaign for the iPhone 5s. The second highest-scoring ad is labeled "From the Heart" but is actually titled "Misunderstood." It's that one that aired during the holidays, showing a teenage boy being absorbed in his iPhone 5s and indifferent to the rest of his family’s merrymaking, but actually has been recording a video of the holiday trip all along. As for Apple's in-house ad team, its best-performing ad is the third highest-scoring overall. Labeled "Chicken Fat" in the graph in reference to its background music, the ad is titled "Strength." It shows a number of iPhone users engaging in various fitness activities, most of which involve the use of fitness apps and iOS-connected activity trackers. The worst-performing ad from Apple's own ad team is also the lowest-scoring one overall. Titled "Greetings," the ad is a condensed version of the video showed by Apple to introduce the iPhone 5c at its special event last September. It shows a quick succession of colorful folks from all over the world using their colorful iPhone 5c devices, which are touted as being "for the colorful." Apple's switch to producing ads in-house came a few months after Phil Schiller, head of marketing at Apple, considered ending the company’s partnership with Media Arts Lab in January 2013. The effectiveness of that partnership reportedly declined after the death of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2011, as Media Arts Labs’ celebrity-laden Siri ads and disastrous Genius TV spots were widely panned.