Hello, my name is Fatih. And I’m an Apple fanboy. I’ve also been the subject of endless mockery amongst my friends, finding myself at the receiving end of merciless taunts, ridiculed for being brainwashed by the Cupertino propaganda machine. But I don’t care. After all I am a fanboy, and I choose to wear that badge with pride.
Because you see, no matter how enthusiastically you put forward the ‘you’re-locked-in-to-overpriced-gadgetry’ argument, I still believe that mine is an informed decision. Instead of looking at it as being sucked into some infinite vortex of consumerism, I’m very happy to part with my hard-earned cash for items that are of both aesthetic and practical beauty, and which help me better organize my life. Amidst a never-ending sea of apps, newsfeeds, documents, website passwords, calendaring and contacts needing management, the hours of productivity gained through just being able to sync all this data seamlessly between devices is something you can sign me up to now, and forever after.
I’ll never forget my first experience of the iMac. It was the late 90’s, and the neon green spaceship-esque design was to my Apple virgin eyes, an item of unparalleled beauty amidst a boring landscape of grey PC towers. I was hooked, and have never looked back. From my first iPod purchase back in 2003, to my beloved first-edition iPhone, and the trusted Macbook Pro I type these words on, I’ve never had my loyalty put to the test. Like a trusted confidante, my tech has always been there for me, never to disappoint. And then of course, there’s been the pioneering advertising.
Earlier this year at Cannes Lions, Apple and their creative agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab won the Outdoor Grand Prix for the “World Gallery” iPhone 6 campaign. Putting this accolade to one side for a moment, you only have to dip into the annals of advertising greatness to find a rich history of magical, awe-inspiring and provocative ads that have been much lauded – and copied – for their original thinking. While in more recent years, much of Apple’s advertising visual identity has focused on simplicity, primarily featuring product ‘beauty’ shots, every now again they seem to flip their prescriptive approach on its head.
By any Marketer’s yardstick, the World Gallery campaign is a great example of advertising that goes beyond just promoting a brand’s newest product line. Everything about it speaks Apple. The aesthetic is identifiable, the message is still one of product-centricity, but it’s the emphasis that I find the most interesting. By genuinely engaging the user base, it’s cleverly invited them to take part in endorsing the product through audience contribution. Rather than providing a self-narrative of why the iPhone 6’s camera is so bloody good (and therefore intimating the iPhone 6’s greatness by association), it’s instead mobilized photography and Apple lovers worldwide to do this on their behalf. You as the viewer are invited to see the greatness in action for yourself.
Ask any smartphone user what functionality they value the most from their phone, and I’m sure the immediate response you’ll get is the camera function. Our lives have become consumed with capturing moments in time, and for every personal snapshot we take to mark a specific experience, there are countless others of a much more banal, everyday nature. With numerous avenues to share what was once considered a personal memento, we’re now taking our private lives, and increasingly making them public. Our mobile devices have once again morphed from being a device for communication, to a new kind of communication vehicle. One that’s highly visual, is driven by content sharing, and encourages audience participation.
Apple’s campaign capitalizes on this last point, paving the way for other brands to crowdsource imagery for marketing purposes. Along with changing how these brands approach the task of advertising in the future, what it’s also managed to achieve is to take a cherished personal image, and elevate it into the spotlight through mass communication. To be given such an opportunity to be showcased by one of the world’s most loved and recognizable brand’s is nothing short of a masterclass in how to build real customer loyalty. Apple’s campaign is as much a celebration of iPhone users, as it is of the iPhone 6.
And that in itself, is enough for me to covet my fanboy status.