What do you think of the new Apple "genius" ads running during Olympics 2012 TV coverage?

The internets are a-flutter with critics of these new Apple ads. I'm not crazy about them. They feel like they're for Best Buy or something, not Apple. I do wish they'd just bring back John Hodgman. (via @nytjim)


  1. I like the new Apple Genius. The guy’s got charisma. The difference between these and Best Buy ads is that it is clear they aren’t trying to sell you anything but a computer. These ads make it seem like an Apple Genius is the most accessible kind of support in the world. Which is perfectly true.

      1. Best guess:

        Target Demo:  Non geeks/middle age

        Message:  Don’t buy a computer, buy a Mac

        Method:   Exploit feelings of insecurity about lack of technical knowledge/fear of appearing ignorant or dumb

        Technique:  Depict stereotypical technofool making a fool of himself, while Apple employee is compassionately condescending.

        Keys to understanding:  
        1. You’re a poor($) idiot (audience is not good enough for Apple…unless you already own Apple products), 
        2. Apple products are for smart wealthy happy people, 
        3. You can be/seem smart, happy and wealthy if you buy an Apple product

        1. This message has been “liked” for its successful use of the phrase “compassionately condescending”.

        2. “You can be/seem X if you buy Y.”

          So… it’s an advertisement is what you’re saying.

        3. So it’s a targeted aspirational encouragement that involves taking advantage of basic human psychology to buy a product.

          Or an ‘advert’.

          I don’t like the ads, but they’re not for me anyway.

      2. Uhh… Accept no imitations? Quality is worth the cost? If you don’t buy a Mac you are a clueless ignoramus? “See, now this guy wishes he bought a real mac, with their awesome bundled software and sharp tech support. Don’t make the same mistake people!”

        I don’t find the message especially ambiguous.

      3. The guy didn’t think he’d bought a mac, he thought he’d bought “basically a mac” as in something as good. The ad is the genius saying the things that aren’t there, so it’s not as good.

  2. As a former Apple retail employee, I kinda like them.  It’s a slightly realistic portrayal of the “always on” demands of the job.  Except instead of exclusively friendly customers, swap them out with a large number of people that don’t know iPhones break when they go swimming in the toilet.

    1. To be sure, the technology already exists for iPhones not to break when they go swimming in the toilet. Perhaps those customers you lament are (subconsciously) frustrated that Apple has so far not chosen not to implement it.

      1. They could also make them bomb-proof and able to fly.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a water-proof iPhone, but these things come at a cost, and would have major impacts on the design (not just aesthetically, but functionally). Just because it’s possible is no reason to expect it.

        1. Well I wasn’t implying that the improvements would be free, just that it’s already possible, pace Apple’s product map, to alleviate GP’s complaint.

    2. Someone should tell the guy in the ad that one of the ways to avoid the “the “always on” demands of the job” is to not wear the t-shirt and badge when off the clock.

      1.  In this ad, he’s sleeping in the shirt and badge.

        NO! I was mistaken! He’s sleeping in the shirt, and then he PUTS ON THE BADGE TO ANSWER THE DOOR.

        I think this ad is the only one that works, humour-wise.

  3. I think the  John Hodgman Mac/PC ads were a very effective and clever way to target people who already had some emotional investment in the Mac/PC race. These ads are not targeting those people. These ads are targeting people who have some vague ideas of what computers can do but have never had the support to actually do them.

    If you read BoingBoing, these ads are probably not for you. But I suspect they will be quite effective with their target audience.

    1. I always thought those Hodgman commercials were kinda sucky in their message too — they just seemed to reinforce the stereotype of the computer geek as an out-of-touch, nerdy asshole, with the Mac being the condescending cool guy to show you the right way to use technology.  The only thing that made them worthwhile was that Hodgman was hilarious, and having the PC guy be the best part of the Mac commercials was probably not what they were going for, so they dropped the ad campaign.

      Similarly, this ad campaign seems to extend that theme of the Mac person being condescendingly douchey.  “Did it come with iMovie?  Did it come with iPhoto?  Do you want me to stop asking obvious, leading questions?  Do you feel like a loser yet?”

      1. Douchey they were, but they were advertising awesome.  

        They so simply boiled down Apple’s marketing, which is a lifestyle brand. Technology as fashion…I guess.

        Personally, I liked their iPod ads of  early 2000’s the best.  The ones that were fare more subtle, with upbeat music, colors used to show off the iPod. 

        1. “They so simply boiled down Apple’s marketing, which is a lifestyle brand. Technology as fashion…I guess.” 

          I think that the core message was that Mac’s were for people and that PC’s were for businesses.  Ironically I didn’t really see anything fashionable about them, whereas the iPod ones were clearly selling a lifestyle product as much as a piece of technology.

          I loved the ads, but we had different actors in the UK (Mitchell and Webb) which made it (IMO) much more amusing and less ‘hip’.

  4. i think the new ads are just fine — fun, and showing the clear delineating features of the Apple eco-system in 30 secs., which is quite a feat and what you want advertising to do. the previous ads with lodge/houseman were beloved by the community, but after a while pundits, probably in search of something to write about on a deadline, started to call them “too snarky” and condescending in favor of the Apple products. these pundits referenced in the original business insider article seem to think hit count = immediately bagging on the post-Jobs Apple ads before taking the general public pulse on them. probably will drive controversial traffic to your site, but is it really journalism? guess that’s why they’re called “business insider,” and not “true tech geek insider.”

    1. I’ve been thinking and I can’t remember the last computer ad that showed people using computers. This is actually kind of radical.

      1. Use of technology isn’t exciting…it’s like watching an author write–the story is what matters. In fact, advertising is usually anti-tech.

        There is a commercial out for the Venza car.  It shows the “modern” girl talking about introducing her parents to Facebook and she’s so sad they only have 19 friends.  Meanwhile they’re out mountain biking or something, and the girl is talking to herself about a picture of a puppy. The message implicitly questions the value of computer tech.

        1. Just looked it up. Now THAT is an excellent ad. (It’s called 2011 Toyota Venza “Social Network”, for anyone who wants to find it.)

          1. I think it’s a really gutsy ad.  I mean not only is it saying “be active” (…with our car….which isn’t really active, but whatever) it’s also making fun of social networking. 

            And it’s not aimed at the parents, but the 20/30 somethings who all basically use FB.  The ad shouts, “You know you’re acting like a wimpy geek, don’t be that person, buy a Venza”

            Advertising psychology is weird stuff.

          2. Just looked at it, too.  Good actress. But is the ad really marketing for 20/30s? No way.

            If it were, then I don’t think it’s good idea to put 50-somethings behind the wheel (How is it sexy to “Drive the car your parents drive!“).  No. This is marketing to 40/50-somethings who want to “sensibly hip.”  That is, they’re on Facebook, of course, but they are actually friends with their Facebook friends (not 687 pseudo-friends) and they are physically active and outdoorsy, unlike their puppy-adoring, websurfing daughter.

            “Keep on rolling”, “Moving forward”… keywords for older people to identify with: they aren’t being left in the dust by those youngsters.

            [btw, this is more of a reply to “D L” but Disqus won’t allow further indentation.]

        2.  Very interesting…trying to sell one fallacy by destroying another.  I like.

        3. I’ve seen that ad some on TV and I think it plays toward a slightly different angle.  The Venza is more of less a cross between SUV/CUV and a mini-van.  It can do all the mini-van things, but it’s “cooler”.   Reminds me of a toned down version of the “Swagger Wagon” commercial…

          Venza, what families should buy after they don’t need the Sienna anymore.

      2.  What about the last several rounds of iPhone and iPad ads? Those were nothing but the device being used.

        Also, pretty much all of the Windows 7 “My Idea” and “To the Cloud” ads involve showing someone using a computer.

  5. I thought macs were supposed to be simple and easy to use? This ad makes them seem difficult and makes mac users look stupid. If you need a “genius” to help you figure this stuff out, you’re doing something wrong.

    1. They are simple and beautiful works of art…but only the smart, wealthy, thin, and happy people can appreciate this simplicity. 

      The simple/just works idea isn’t what launched Apple, it’s the underlying assumption that if you have an Apple you can feel smart, happy, wealthy while watching (you’re in the know), but if you don’t have an Apple you’re pathetic.

      It’s a really awful advertising technique that works very well.  Basically like fashion magazines for young girls, they play off people’s insecurities.

      1. WTF does body type have to do with anything? Or emotional state of mind. Are you the kind of troll who gets angry at numbers too, for being so orderly?

        1. People don’t really need more things, so they have to be convinced what they have now sucks. (Or charitably, that if they have more they’ll be better.)  

          Most advertising works off this idea. Buy this _____  and you’ll be better.  The implication is you suck today, not too healthy.  

          Anyway, to be specific, I’m hardly the first to chirp in that there are no fat people in Apple commercials (unless they’re Hodgeman…the guy you don’t want to be).  You’ll notice Apple’s ads also dont’ have people sweating or working hard….or feature workplaces. 

        2. WTF does body type have to do with anything? Or emotional state of mind.

          It’s the same advertising strategy as the trainers at the gym who go around telling people who are working with trainers how they’re doing everything wrong and that’s why they look so awful.  It’s an actual corporate strategy.

    2. No, what the ads say is “When you have questions, we’ll help you.”

      The genius bar/in store training is the feature being demonstrated here, and it’s actually a fairly unique to Apple feature.

  6. They’re not horrible. I did like the concept that once the guy was shown how to use the program he basically became a “genius” too and went along to help the next person, implying that Mac is so easy that anyone can quickly become an expert. 

    But, yeah, it just feels cheap and uninteresting, like a Best Buy ad. I didn’t always agree with the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ads but at least they had some style. 

    1. Well, yeah.. you already BOUGHT an apple product, so there is no need for the ad to reach you now. Apple products are like those headcrabs from Halflife.

    2. You can view them via the Business Insider link. They’re pointing to the youtube.com versions there. youtube-nocookie.com looks to be… problematic on iOS.

  7. I have two comments, not actually related to this particular ad, which I find silly and insulting:

    1) If they’re really geniuses, what the heck are they doing working for Apple a near-minimum wage?  Answer: ““money shouldn’t be an issue when you’re employed at Apple.”


    2) Why, oh why, (at least in Canada), is every ad slot for Big Bang Theory used to sell Apple computers – when the geniuses on the show all use PCs? 

    Answer from Apple fanboi disciple: Uh, what about Penny, she’s not a computer nerd? 

    Answer: She’s got a pink Dell Inspiron 1420, mr. Genius…

    1. They are just min wage techs. Apple calls them Geniuses for a couple reasons.

      1. They (their marketing firm) realized people come to the Apple store because they can’t figure stuff out, and they want help.
      2. Apple can provide help, but it’s not “normal” service, it’s Apple service, i.e., exclusive, for the wealthy, smart, happy, thin people….so you don’t get techs, you get Geniuses (who are under-staffed at a level that makes them seem in demand)
      3. It actually works for the employees.  You see people consistently take pride having worked at/for Apple. They were brainwashed to think they were special.

      1. DL give the astroturfing a rest. The ads have nothing to do with what you’re saying.

        Aren’t you afraid all those straw men are going to gang up on you?

      2. Your anti-Apple rants are a little ridiculous, but just as one point of contention, I’ve heard that the “geniuses” can make as much as $30/hr or more, and the starting pay for every position at the Apple store is something like $11.50/hr (significantly above minimum wage) and pretty much everyone makes more than that after a few months.

        They are not minimum wage techs, and they are held to a high standard and compensated accordingly. I am not sure why you feel it’s necessary to call someone “brainwashed” for having pride in providing top-notch service and getting well-paid.

        It’s for this reason that Apple stores are among the most pleasant retail stores in existence. I wish every retail store held their employees and the store environment to the same high standard. I especially dislike places that employ people like you (i.e. cynical & jealous dicks).

        1. I only know what I’ve read, and you are the first to report any Apple retail person making that sort of money. 

          And if you don’t like brainwashed, try another term like proselytized…   And Apple is hardly the only company to do it. Gap is famous for it’s propaganda aimed at its own low level employees. Walmart has a couple hour long induction program for EVERYONE.  Even a half hour anti Union movie they make them watch.  I can speak personally for FedEx’s induction, but whatever, if you disagree, you disagree.

          1. Apple ‘Geniuses’ earn up to $50,000 per year plus health insurance.  All Apple retail workers (or almost all) got an across-the-board raise of up to 25% since the time they were starting at $11.50/hr.

      1.  Yeah, and he can’t talk to girls unless he’s drunk.

        Draw your own conclusions.

    2. This is the first I had seen this (these) TV ads, and upon reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that these ads are aimed primarily at the staffers in Apple stores.

      Y’know, so they won’t ask for raises or for a union.

      Secondly, they’re aimed at the people who shop at Apple stores.

  8. Geniuses don’t really take care of any of the “problems” they show in the commercial. It’s usually the specialist or a Creative that will show clients how to use software like iPhoto, and iMovie.

    To be honest the movie The Dictator had it right. geniuses spend most of their time cleaning the junk out of your filth ridden computers.

  9. I dunno – if your brand has ‘intuitive and easy to use’ as a major selling point, I’m not sure that portraying your customers as unable to accomplish even basic tasks without assistance from a  ‘genius’ is the way to go.

    But hey, I’m not the target market.  Some people *do* get very frustrated trying to accomplish simple things, even on an ‘intuitive’ Mac.  Not everyone intuits the same. 

    I suppose if you were one of those people, rather than getting discouraged because you can’t even get simple stuff done -not even on the reputedly easy-to-use computer – it might be nice to think that, if you *do* find yourself in that state, there’s always a friendly nerd kid right around the corner just waiting for you to ask for help.  Even for simple things.  And that’s perfectly normal, and nothing to be ashamed of.

    Will that sell more Macs?  Beats me.  If I were a marketing genius, I’d be driving a Tesla. :-)

    1. As someone said above, the ending of the ad is important – the guy who needed help is now excited to go and help the next person. The point being that Apple knows that not everyone can easily pick up even the easiest-to-use computer stuff from scratch. However, the learning curve is quite low, so with just a little bit of help you’re off running.

      I don’t necessarily like the ads that much, but I don’t think there’s a misstep in their message. A lot of people are wary about computers. It’s easy to get help with using Apple computers to do what may seem like complicated things (such as making a video as in the ad), and once you get over that hurdle it’s easy. Nobody else can really offer that “getting over the initial hurdle” service in the same way that Apple can.

    2. The problem with intuition is that it can often be overridden by familiarity.  That’s why it’s so annoying to hear a Windows user claim that Mac’s are hard to use because they tried using one and couldn’t do anything on it.  Unless you’re going into things with a blank slate of computer knowledge intuition will only take you so far. Also, computers are bastards, and OS’s their evil representatives. I describe my affiliation with Apple as a preference, and certainly no more – they’re all sods.

      I totally agree with what you took from the ad though.  I’m often baffled by how little people that work with computers can do with computers, baffled.  So reassuring people that irrelevant of how simple their problem seems, help is at hand, is a really good thing.

      Talking about ads like this in places like this is silly anyway, as if you know how to sign in to Disqus you’re probably 10 times more technically advanced than the people these particular ads are targeted at.

      The snarkers in the comments that think these problems are an indication of how easy it is to use a Mac have clearly never received an attachment containing a screenshot saved in a word document before.

  10. I really find that lanyard disturbing. Do they actually make employees wear those?  Isn’t it clear they’re Apple employees by the shirt?  So, is it just symbolic jewelry…maybe suggesting a collar or noose?  

    1. I believe it is meant to resemble a V.I.P Pass like one might get at some big expo.

    2. They serve two purposes:

      1) They (usually) have the employee’s name on them, and what kind of employee they are (Genius/Trainer/etc.)

      2) They hold business cards/the “ thanks” stickers they put on the back of things you buy.

      They also differentiate between someone who actually works there and someone who just happened to walk in wearing a blue t-shirt.

      1.   They also have flags symbolizing the languages spoken by that employee, quite handy when hanging around in a Tokyo Apple Store hehe.

  11. It just doesn’t seem “Apple.” It’s too cheesy, too obvious (when was the last time you were explaining something to someone and they said, perfectly scripted, “oh, you just drag and drop? This is such a wonderful, easy-to-use product”), and too standard.

    Also, am I the only one who sees this as one of the first post-Steve mistakes? Not claiming to “know” him, but these don’t scream “perfect,” which from my understanding would mean he would have been yelling obscenities within the first five seconds.

    1. What’s different about these ads is that they try to get their message across using humorous little narratives.  I can’t remember Apple ever doing that before.   
      But, if the idea is a young, smart, helpful, mildly condescending  “Genius” can come to the aid for confused middle-agers….well that works.  

      And it also explicitly makes light of problems technophobes might have–shows they’re no big deal by hyperbolic, unrealistic, over-dramatization of problems people might have. That’s probably intended to make people more at ease jumping into the Apple world of tech.  

      1. What were the “I’m a Mac/PC” ads if not “humorous little narratives”? Or are you saying those were abstract, and these are traditional sit-com like narratives?

        1. These seem more complex. You have to realize plane emergencies are usually really serious, then appreciate what the problem the guy has, then how the Genius is going to help him…there’s the whole time/deadline issue too.  

          Apple v. PC was abstract, and the good part about it is that they really did require some real low level abstraction to figure out the metaphor.

  12. For me it’s kinda like a Coke advert that shows the people who drink it sitting around in their shorts with fat bellies watching TV. Apple’s always tried to portray itself as aspirational, the preserve of hip(ster) “liberal arts meets technology” urbanites.
    These ads may be trying to broaden the appeal, but I wonder if they’ll do so by tarnishing the image and lessening the aspirational ‘magic’ bullshit, alienating that demographic.

  13. I don’t like this style of ad in general, but I have to say that these are much better done than what you’d normally see in this style. I can’t really imagine Best Buy having equivalent ads anywhere near as good as this, and I don’t even think these are particularly good!

  14. Who watches commercials?   Is your “skip” button broken?  We waited an hour or so into the ceremony then started watching as we’ve plenty of other things to do than see mindless commercials.

  15. Every time I catch a train there are people with Macbooks watching videos.

    You can get a fairly decent portable DVD player for $40.

    1. Tell me about it, I see all these people playing tetris on their phones when they could have bought a standalone hand-held tetris game for a few dollars.  Suckers!

  16. The problem for Apple with the John Hodgman ads is that Hodgman is far funnier, and more fun, than the Jobs character.  I think that over time, as people saw Hodgman more in more places, they started to backfire.  Why do you want to do ads with your competitor coming across as funny and fun and you as a stuck up stick in the mud?

    1. You thought John Hodgeman’s PC character was more “fun” than Justin Long’s Mac character? I think we might be using different “funs” here.

      1. Hodgeman himself.  People see him a lot of places, after he got a kickstart with the Apple ads, and he’s funny and fun.  Long, not so much.  So when they’d see the ads, they see “that funny guy” being Apple’s rival, and “that guy” being Apple.  Diminishing returns at least; countereffective, I’d say.

        (You’ve really not seen Hodgeman all over the screen making funny?)

      2. Almost every reference to those ads that I’ve ever seen said that they prefer Mr. Hodgman’s character.

        1. I’ve always said (and yes, it has come up often) that the reason the Hodgman/Long commercials worked was viewer sympathy for Hodgman as the PC.  The viewer didn’t think “Wow, what a dick!  Kick his ass, Mac!”  The viewer thought “Oh, charmingly misguided PC, when will you learn?  Your life could be so much better if only you’d listen to your friend Mac!”

          1.  Exactly. They didn’t cast Hodgman as the PC by mistake, or write most of the ads to spend more time on his acting by mistake. You were supposed to see the PC as lovably silly and charmingly misguided, not to hate him.

    2. I still enjoy telling apple people that “I’m a PC”. I think I kinda drives them mad when you use there own lines against them.

      1.  Mostly it just makes you sound stupid. The point of those ads wasn’t for Mac users to go around saying “I’m a Mac!” (I never heard any Mac users say that; if I had, I would have told them they sounded stupid too.) Which is why the Windows ads featuring Windows users saying “I’m a PC” were so weird.

        But carry on if you’re enjoying yourself, I suppose.

  17. Is this really an apple advertisement? It’s like something on saturday night live! Seriously, he sleeps in his apple uniform, complete with his apple product hanging from his neck? Seriously? (Must remember to stay a few feet away from apple store employees.. apparently…)
    And worst of all, do they really expect to get new marketshare by advertising you can’t use apple products without the non stop help of a douchebag teenager? Seriously?

    That’s EXACTLY what people want to see when computer shopping!!!!!

    (and don’t ever come to my door at 4am for computer help. ever..) Rest of the vids on youtube too.

    1.  I actually thought that the new Windows Surface looked like a very interesting product.  Not just a facsimile of an iPad like all modern alternatives, but a product that has a slightly different use-case, something that fits a niche, and is unarguably well executed. 

      But I’m sure as hell not going to buy anything that Ballmer pitches at me.  That guy couldn’t sell me Oxygen on the moon.

      1. Well, the interesting question is how big the surface “niche” is. Microsoft is ruining their burgeoning desktop market betting everything on the surface market. One of the biggest cash-cows of Microsoft is “business” products that run on enterprisey desktops. I know that they can’t sell Win8 to any corporate customer, so they’re basically abandonging their corporate foothold. At the same time it’s not really clear to me that their surface niche is gonna make up for that, or that they will successfully compete in that niche with apple. They could be in a real mess.

        1. Oh I completely agree, from a business perspective I think it’ll be a huge flop. But as a consumer it interests me – there will be fans of this product, die-hard fans, but no where near enough for it to be a success. Same goes for their approach to mobile, for which they deserve more respect than they usually do (and Zune of course).

          MS needs to just keep their focus on the corporate world, which they’re good at, and could improve. But each new version of their OS sticks a middle finger up to their business customers – where they have a real chance to create something for an actual niche they know well. More like Win 95/2000 (which is what got them that market share in the first place).

          All likely the result of shareholder pressure.

  18. I work in advertising and these spots were what we’d call really “retail.”  First time in my lifetime that Apple felt like every other company in its advertising.  The probably have their reasons – want to reach out past their cool, early adapter demo.  Still… it’s like they undid years of amazing advertising with one spot that looks and sounds like its for Best Buy or a new Chevy.

        1. Haha, I remember those. Lies wrapped in saccharine. Still more tolerable than the IE ads though; I encourage OS diversity, but no one should be using IE…

  19. I’ve found the genius bar guys to generally be dumb as bricks. The one in the ad isn’t called on to do anything technical, his solution is to add a sepia tone to a movie. Maybe it would have been more effective if he had been called on to do something that actually took some thought. If Steve Jobs were alive, I don’t think this stinker ad would have been aired.

  20. This is obviously an attempt to resurrect Steve Jobs by making his spirit angry enough to jump back into his body and punch a fist up out of his grave

    1. You certainly can.  I think BB just used the wrong embed code – as the vids on the linked article work just fine on an iPad.

      Not that I don’t feel a little bad about ruining the sweet irony involved.

  21. I think the ad kind of sucks, but I think it’s good that Apple gets taken down a few notches- kind of a reality check to show that they are not some holy techno-deity outside of humanity. It’s good for them to pop their bubble from time to time.

  22. Funny, but as a windows user I can actually fix my own computer when needed, I don’t need a pretentious “Genius”. Then again, I could buy 5 windows machines for what Apple charges for one.

    1. As a windows user or as someone who knows how to fix computers?

      I’m guessing you don’t have much contact with real people, or Apple price lists.

        1. I ain’t no iSheep, but if you think that your comment contained logic and reality then you might need to get your head out of the sand.

          FYI I wasn’t being insulting, just observant.

        2. Is this ‘How to troll on Techdirt 101’ by the way?

          Say something uninformed about a brand, wait for someone to point out their error, and then claim they’re a fanboy for having some perspective.

          I come here to avoid this childish silliness.

  23. Anything is better than another Internet Explorer ad.

    We’ve had them in droves in the UK and they’re actually driving me mad. As someone that works with the internet the fewer people using IE the better, so seeing it actually advertised is… I have no comparison… it’s just… very anger inducing.

  24. I think they are funny and all this criticism is ridiculous. I also think they are trying to stick it to Samsung who has done ads in the past trying to make fun of Apple and fans of Apple.

  25. First, these ads feel totally banal. They don’t have the shiny simplicity that characterizes most Apple branding. They do feel more like “Dude, you’re getting a Dell.”

    Second, they highlight the plastic nametag dangling on a string, which I’ve always thought looked super-dorky, especially for a company that values looking cool as much as Apple does.

    Third, everything the Genius is doing in these ads? Is not what Geniuses do. It’s what Creatives do. They’re totally different job titles and totally different roles in the store, requiring different skill sets. Geniuses fix your crap when it is broken (for values of “broken” which include software and hardware failures). Creatives teach you how to use your computer to make/do cool stuff.

    1. On the last point, I wonder if that’s just a misunderstanding by the headline writer here and the commenters — he’s clearly meant to be a Creative (ugh! at that job title) and he isn’t referred to as a Genius in the ads that I noticed.  “Genius” is the only Apple Retail job title the majority of readers know.  (Oops, I was wrong!)

      These are completely banal, yes, though I think part of the problem (as hundreds of people have said already) is simply that the implied message of “a clueless user needs a professional to show him how to do stuff on a Mac” is so antithetical to the Apple brand.

      1. The captain clearly asks “is there is an Apple Genius onboard” and then individual in the blue Apple Genius t-shirt clearly responds by saying “I’m a Genius.”     So, yes, they’re clearly identified as alleged genius.  Or geniuses.  or genii.  or whatever.   

        It’s totally a nitpick, of course, but it’s odd to see a company like Apple, which generally prides itself in being so precise, instead so completely misidentify itself here. 

  26. I love these ads.  They are totally unique.  They get to the point that if you have any issues you can talk to a real human instead of buying a boring book or talking to someone over the phone.

    In the Windows world, you can’t easily talk to someone face to face from the manufacturer or Microshit.  You have to go to  a third party.

    Some arrogant geeks who memorized a few workarounds and copy and pasted some command line crap from a blog won’t get these ads, since they are SOOO much smarter than a surgeon who didn’t have time to figure out a stupid computer program.

  27. I’m not really sold on the new ads. I think these ads create a bad expectation of what kind of service you’re going to get from a Genius.  The Genius team is there to help with technical support questions, like when a product is physically broken or when the software isn’t behaving as expected. If the customer happens to have a question while the Genius is addressing a hardware issue, that’s one thing; explaining how iCloud may have backed up the photos you took this week with your iPhone, before you destroyed it, is one example of how a Genius might explain tech while fixing it.

    These ads don’t show people who need help from a Genius, because they aren’t dealing with problems from software/hardware. These people need Trainers/Creatives or Specialists. A Genius just isn’t there to wait around and answer any questions that a customer might have, they’re there to help a specific type of customer.  I think that if these ads presented the employee as a Trainer or a Specialist, then customers that aren’t familiar with the dynamics of an Apple store might not expect a Genius, and only a Genius, to address every issue they have.

    Additionally, why does this one actor appear in every ad that was just released? I think that most customers are going to be able to figure out that whomever is wearing the bright blue shirt with an Apple logo dead center and a grey lanyard is the Apple employee that they want to help them with their problems.  Why does the employee have to be a young white male? When I was a Specialist at my store, I would often get great opinions from other employees to help my customers, and these employees were (wait for it) not always male and not always white and not always young!  I think these ads are a great opportunity for Apple to showcase not only the diversity of people that could benefit from using their products, but also the diversity of people who know how to make these products do amazing things for those people that could benefit from them.

    TL;DR I think these ads should be a little more accurate, regarding what to expect from an Apple store and who to expect to help you when you’re in a store.

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