The Print Economy of Words
Effective use of the print medium requires the ability to explain the benefits of a product with as few words as possible. Bold, bright imagery that tells a story in two-dimensional space with a single sentence, single word, or just a logo is what makes a great print ad stand apart from a cluttered classified in a local newspaper.
The maxim about a picture being worth a thousand words may be a cliche, but the beauty of a storytelling image is that a picture is worth a different thousand words to each person who sees it. It is a theater of the mind, which is accentuated in this case by another iPad marketing tactic–ambiguity.
Look Into My Eyes…
We make a tremendous amount of assumptions about people based upon their appearance–and the most identifiable characteristic of appearance is one’s face. Apple has chosen to leave faces out of this series of iPad print ads, and in doing so, has managed to create the slightest amount of ambiguity that allows people to envision themselves as the person holding the iPad.
While faces are not shown, the unifying theme is people sitting with their legs up in a comfortable position. This leads us to believe that use of this product is relaxing and puts us in control. The message is–the iPad is a product that gives you more time and is easy to use. Or, from the horses mouth a “magical and revolutionary product.”
Shopping expert Paco Underhill, in his book Why We Buy, make the argument that when it comes to electronics, men shop and women buy. Men, he says, are likely to look at products they may not need at the moment in order to get an idea of the features and specs are. Women tend to be more concerned with immediate needs and a specific functionality, rather than boasting about gigabytes, megapixels or RAM.
Some, however, believe that Apple has missed the mark when it comes to marketing to women. Avi and Michal Schick’s suggest that the iPad ads they’ve encountered have a gendered and sexist overtone.
Overall, I think this is an example of a highly-respected national company showing that they know how to market. Edward Boches at Creativity Undbound believes that the excellent execution of the iPad print ads could bring a second life to the print advertising medium, as well as further innovation in image advertising.
Some Free Bonus Nonsense
OK, I can’t help myself. The serious commentary is over, but the irrepressible analytic in me has to chuckle at the Pooh passage which appears on the pictured iPad.
“It reminds me of something,” he said, “but I can’t think what.”
With 9 months since the iPad hit the market, we can still make fun of the inoppotune name a bit, can’t we?