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…Just a Thought

I don’t really know how to react to this… but surfing yesterday I found a link to the Japanese Apple Switch TV Ads (thanks k10k). Is it strange that these are EXACTLY the same as American ads?

Now I understand the “marketing” (co$t) angle of this, but does this strategy neglect the unique character of different cultures? (…and is culture relevant in design currently?)

I sound like the editor of AdBusters, but are we becoming a global advertising monoculture? Does this freak anyone else out?

…and by all means, you can all tell me to be quiet and quit being so paranoid.

but I guess I would just like to hear others opinion of this phenomenon.

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PUBLISHED ON Oct.19.2002 BY long-gone author
Darrel’s comment is:

"but are we becoming a global advertising monoculture?"

But of course. We're a global economy now.

In this case, though, also note that Japan is infatuated with the American pop culture.

I've always found it odd that the biggest fans of adbusters seem to be graphic designers...the very people that thrive on the marketing of products and services.

On Oct.19.2002 at 11:05 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>Is it strange that these are EXACTLY the same as American ads?

The background music is different. More japanese : )

Two things before I get started, I hate Adbusters. And I hate the Switch Apple ads.

My main problem with the switch campaign is that it's false advertising. "Macs don't crash", "Plug-and-play". C'mon! Macs crash and you always need all sorts of drivers. Also, do they really wanna convert all PC users to Apple? would they be able to handle the demand of the rest of the 95% of the world that doesn't use apple? they couldn't keep with the new iMac. I don't know if it's just me who doesn't like these ads.

But back to the original question:

>does this strategy neglect the unique character of different cultures?

In my opinion it does. But who knows? maybe in Japan they did some sort of market research and concluded that yes, the same ads will have the same effect. I think it's just a money saving tactic too.

On Oct.19.2002 at 11:35 AM
jon’s comment is:

I'm not sure how they would have altered them. Should they have pokemon guys popping in from the sides? Maybe godzilla eating a PC? (Actually, I 'd like to see that.) The ads are the ultimate in simplicity: person in front of white background speaking directly to the viewer. Not much to alter, IMHO.

On Oct.19.2002 at 02:47 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>person in front of white background speaking directly to the viewer. Not much to alter, IMHO.

They at least did change the person in front of the white background.

>Maybe godzilla eating a PC?

Or maybe a tamagotchi? remember them?

On Oct.19.2002 at 03:05 PM
Kevin’s comment is:

It freaks me out too.

As Jon mentioned the very nature of the campaign is generic to the core...so...

Maybe that's the scarier part.

First they use celebrities who 'think different'.... then they use 'normal' people... who then gain the celebrity status of young boys' wet dreams.

I'm afraid I'm not really sure what my point is, but they bother me.

On Oct.19.2002 at 10:27 PM
ale’s comment is:

Ehi, did't see that before,

kelly slater, tony hawk and dj qbert hired to sell the most famous coloured plastic in the IT world?

The ellen fleis files are great, anyway.

On Oct.20.2002 at 05:30 AM
ale’s comment is:

It seems the whole mac campaign has become the preferred target of various jokes around the web:

for those who can read italian: a whole site on this.

On Oct.20.2002 at 05:37 AM
Martin’s comment is:

Still gotta say that MicroSofts somewhat inane attempt to steal the "Switch"-idea for themselves beats everything I can think of.



On Oct.20.2002 at 07:57 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>tony hawk

I think he in fact is a Mac junkie. He was interviewed in MacWorld (the magazine) a few months back. As for that old ad, with the jurassic park dude, I'm not usre why he was chosen as the spokesperson?.

But you know what? the ads are damn effective. Here we are, as the rest of the world, discussing about them and making mockery sites. Best form of flattery is imitation. Maybe the switch ads are not as good as the original 1984 Apple ad, but it's getting the same attention.

On Oct.20.2002 at 12:01 PM
Jon’s comment is:

>not as good as the original 1984 Apple ad

oh but what a different world we live in today... The Mac was the new kid on the block that just blew everything out of the water in terms of ease-of-use and compact, friendly computing. Windows didn't exist; everything was BIG and had many components and took up an entire desk.

The only way Apple will ever truly recapture significant marketshare and move out of it's niche markets (education, graphics) is 1) to develop a truly breakthrough business computer and 2) not shoot itself in the foot when they put it on the market. And by the second point, I mean by pricing itself above the market and by not having enough software ready to go.

I really fear that Apple will cease to exist in a decade. I hope it doesn't happen, but that's my fear.

On Oct.20.2002 at 05:00 PM
rorie’s comment is:

I am into adbusters, i beleive that what they have to say has importance. I am one of many signatories of the First Things First Manifesto ( http://adbusters.org/campaigns/first/flash.html ) and agree whole heartedly that the graphic design / advertising industry needs a good long ponder...

Is this relevant to the mac ads? um, it depends, are mac's essential? Well, to the graphic designer they are, and that's where macs initial audience lay, but now they are shifting to this 'buy a mac, your life will improve' state of mind. Corporate Control, which is another bite out of metaphorical apple (no pun intended) towards global domination!! Run for your lives!! Save yourself!!! :D

ok, i'm going off at a tangent now, but please, if you aren't aware of the FTF manifesto, take 5 mins to go and read it, and start to question modern day society.


On Oct.21.2002 at 05:36 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

"I really fear that Apple will cease to exist in a decade."

I hope we're still not dependant on MS and Apple for our OS choices in a decade. ;o)

On Oct.21.2002 at 08:13 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

"I am into adbusters, i beleive that what they have to say has importance."

I think it does too, but note that at the core, they are very much a counterpoint to marketing/PR/advertising.

Graphic Design is wholly dependant on those industries. You can certainly be a GDer and not ever do any of the above, but most GDers need to work withing those industries. As such, being an avid follower of AC can be a bit hypocritical, to say the least. GD, as a business, was founded solely because of mass commercialization and the need to sell, sell, sell.

And, ultimately, perhaps that's why I'm so cynical. I love GD but also realize that in the end, it's a rather shallow career.

On Oct.21.2002 at 08:17 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>First Things First Manifesto, and agree whole heartedly that the graphic design / advertising industry needs a good long ponder...

Oh boy! where to start? yes it needs a good long ponder. But to me the FTFM is a load of bull. Yes, we can all say "let's make this a better world by not designing shallow things". Right. Half of the sigantories in the 2000 FTFM have all made a name for themselves, and tons of money, by doing work that just sells something, a service, product, whatever and they would give that up? Uhu.

Money makes the world go 'round. If designers decided to do only political or social posters with lots of doves and guns marked with a red X, they would all starve to death. Let's ask Zuzana Licko to stop selling fonts and meaningless merchandise. Or Gert Dumbar to close shop and design Greenpeace leaflets.

I really appreciate when big shot designers take the time to do work for Non-profit organizations to promote some goody cause. But to say "We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning." What does this mean truthful advertising? c'mon noboy would buy anything.

Design is probably a shallow career like Darrel said. But that's what we do, whether we like it or not. We make products or services look really good, even if they are crap. And that's how we earn our paychecks.

The world is dominated by consumerism. Does it suck? maybe. Can design change the perception of millions of people by signing a manifesto? doubtful.

On Oct.21.2002 at 01:20 PM
arlo’s comment is:

Its not at all the design or use of the macs that is keeping Apple a minority-- it's the price tag. A new tower shouldn't cost base of $2400 (sans-monitor) on ANY platform. No wonder big buyers buy 100 PC Towers at $400 apiece instead of $2400 apiece.

On Oct.21.2002 at 05:48 PM