New Apple ads are a bit of a flop

Critics question confusing 'designed by Apple in California' tagline

Missed message

Apple Inc.

Sharp marketing has long set Apple apart from rivals, including its long-running “I’m a Mac” ads that painted Apple users as cool and PC users as frumpy dads.

Now the iPhone-maker wants to draw a similar distinction between itself and Samsung, the world’s biggest handset maker. Apple’s latest campaign emphasizes that its products are “designed by Apple in California.”

But it’s a questionable approach (Apple’s devices are built in China), strangely executed. Critics say the ads are confusing and rambling. “You may rarely look at it, but you’ll always feel it. This is our signature,” says one ad, showing people in slow motion using Apple products.

At least one ad-tracking agency, Ace Metrix, says the spots are a flop. The misstep could hardly come at a worse time. Apple’s shares have fallen 25 per cent over the past six months as investors fret about its ability to keep wowing consumers. Suddenly, Apple looks like the one wearing Dockers.

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