Apple has a message which people want to hear. They are almost like the vocal point for the hipsters in society. Apple sells its products by convincing you that you need them, and they're cool enough to have one. On top of that, their commercials are extremely relevant to modern life, whereas their competitors' commercials don't quite hit the mark.
How It Began
The iPhone hit stores in 2007, after being announced earlier that year at Macworld. It transformed how we viewed multitouch devices forever due its intuitive user interface and usability. All of this was masterfully marketed with the now famous "switch" advertisement . Based on this ad alone, Apple became known as an underdog who could make things that you didn't know you wanted until it was in your hands.
In 2008, AT&T announced that they had reached an exclusive agreement with Apple to release the iPhone exclusively on their network. This sparked a huge backlash from many people who already had contracts with Verizon or Sprint, and wanted a new phone but couldn't have one due to this exclusivity contract. But out of all the noise about "locking" customers into a service for two years, Apple created a powerful marketing campaign centered around "freedom". They made it clear that they believed in being able to do whatever you wanted with your purchase, stating that they weren't going to tell you what phone you can use as long as you purchased from them. In response, they released a video that's widely considered to be one of the best advertisements they have ever put out. Apple knew that if it swayed even just 1% of people who were upset with AT&T to go to T-Mobile, then sales would skyrocket... And boy did it work. The iPhone 4 was sold out within hours of being released on T-Mobile, and Verizon ended up scrapping their early termination fee due to the backlash from customers who were tied down with contracts because of their exclusivity contract with Apple.
When the iPad was announced in 2010, Apple hit peak marketing potential. The commercial was so well made and so relevant to everyone watching that there wasn't a single person left untouched by its message: you need this device, and you need it now.
What made this campaign stand out was that Apple didn't focus on the technical specs of the product like many pundits expected them to do. Instead, they focused on making a commercial that could be an allegory for every person's life, regardless of who you are or what your interests are. The message was simple enough that everyone could understand it without missing a beat. You have so much stuff to do that there isn't enough time in the day to get all of it done... But with the iPad, suddenly your life becomes easier because there is more time in the day than you thought there was. This message wasn't just effective for selling iPads, but it showed how powerful marketing can be when trying to sell a product, and Apple had truly mastered it.
The iPad 2 hit the market in 2011 and was followed by what is considered to be one of the best commercials that Apple had ever made. Granted, at some points it's almost like watching an Apple Keynote commercial for how many times computers are shown off in 60 seconds, but regardless this ad conveyed the message that you didn't think you needed an iPad until now. Every second counts, so if there's any way to make your life easier then you need to do everything within your power to make that happen. And with the iPad 2, suddenly all those things which were impossible before are easy as pie... At least according to Apple.
But one thing to note about Apple's marketing is that they have been known to mislead people in certain aspects. In the "I'm a Mac" campaign, Apple's goal was to show how much better their computers were than PCs in order to sway people from buying them instead of Macs (which at the time were indeed more expensive). To do this, they showed off some features like faster boot up times and compatibility with Microsoft Office, but only ever really mentioned speed while ignoring other important details like storage space or memory.
Another example would be when Apple announced new iPhones with larger screens during their 2014 product announcement. Many people assumed that the new screen size meant that an app could simply display more on screen at once given its increased real estate compared to the previous generation, but this was not the case. Instead, developers had to completely re-design their app in order for it to take advantage of the iPhone 6's screen size instead of just adding more on screen at once. This meant having to spend more time and/or money on each individual app in order for everyone to have a uniform experience across all Apple devices.
And while everyone knows about Apple's infamous "bendgate" problem with the iPhone 6 Plus, some people forget that they also dealt with "antenna gate" shortly after its launch. While making a call or using data would cause no problems whatsoever, it turned out that if you held the phone in your left hand then your signal would drop considerably compared to other phones on the market. Apple tried to fix this with a software update some time after its release, but it didn't cover all users and required them to have their phone replaced in order for it to work properly.
So while Apple's advertising has been top notch over the years, they've also had their share of misleading advertisements that could be construed as dishonest if you look at them from the wrong angle. This is only natural when marketing a product since there may be small details about said product which might not come up during an advertisement or can simply be ignored by everyone else. For example, no car commercial will ever mention brake pads unless they were specifically trying to sell brake pads...
But even with a few examples here and there it doesn't change the fact that Apple has had some of the best marketing in the past few decades, and they've shown us again and again how important it is to get your product out there. Just one major commercial or ad campaign can make all of the difference in the world when trying to sell a product... But even more so for a concept .
Apple is one of the most successful brands in history, and they owe much of their success to an unparalleled ability to market themselves. Apple's marketing strategies are so effective that it can be hard not to want whatever Apple product they're advertising. Their ads often show off some new feature or function with a 60-second commercial, but sometimes these features don't quite live up to what was promised in the ad itself. That being said, there have been plenty of examples where this has happened when other companies advertise as well--it would just happen more frequently for Apple due to how many products they release at once compared with others. Here's to see what the future tends to hold for Apple's upcoming ad campaigns...