Statistical Proof Is Piling Up That Apple's Ads Are Failing

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Apple’s new ads are failing.

Here are the 10 most effective ads of Q2 2013, according to Ace Metrix, a company that measures audience responses to commercials. The No.1 spot was by AT&T, advertising a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, which can survive being dunked in a fishbowl. Samsung’s own ad for the GS4 came in at No.8

Apple wasn’t on the list.

Ace Metrix ranks ads based on the reactions of 500-plus viewers and gives them a score from 0-950. Apple’s ads rank between 522 and 554, according to Adweek.

Samsung’s all score greater than 600.

Worse, Apple’s new ads — the ones we said marked “a thrilling change in direction” for the company — are going down like lead balloons with consumers. One execution scored a lowly 528 with Ace Metrix, Bloomberg reported, versus an industry average of 603.

An ad for Samsung that ran in the same time-period scored a 757.

Apple also runs second to Samsung in YouGov BrandIndex polling, which measures perceptions of brands.

What seems to be going on is that Apple’s new ads talk to the company, its employees, and its supporters. They focus on the importance of design, whether certain products “deserve to exist,” and Apple’s “signature.” We called them “a manifesto about the reason for its existence.”

Apple iTunes adA recent ad for iTunes, which consumers hated. iTunes is a 12-year-old product.

Turns out that while these things are important to the company itself, they’re not consumers’ top priority.

Apple may have lost sight of the consumer — a cardinal error in any corporate gameplan.

The manifesto ad, titled, “Our Signature” got the lowest Ace Metrix score of 26 Apple ads, Ace Metrix told Adweek,  at just 489. The average for the period was 542.

Contrast Apple and Samsung’s approaches: Apple is saying, “We spend a lot of time on a few great things until every idea we touch enhances each life it touches.” Apple may believe that, but it’s both pompous and dull at the same time.

Samsung, meanwhile, is giving away 5 million free copies of JayZ’s new album, and having JayZ make ads for it.

In the tech category, being the old, incumbent brand fending off trendy new startups is not an advantage. Tech consumers naturally sympathize with insurgent, disruptive new products.

Apple, infamously, doesn’t have any new products right now. It’s Q3 2013 earnings were propped up entirely by legacy iPhone and iTunes sales. The iPhone was launched in 2007. iTunes was launched in 2001. It’s literally 12 years old — an eternity in tech-time.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised a busy fall for Apple. He’d better deliver, because he may already be losing his customer base.

Here’s the signature ad, which has fared particularly poorly:

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