Apple tries to quietly ax badly received 'Genius' ads

  • (Network World)
  • 23 August, 2012 15:41

Apple is doing its best to yank its latest series of "Genius" ads -- which were widely derided for being silly and patronizing -- from the Internet.

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The three advertisements, which debuted during the recently concluded Olympics, depicted a young Apple "genius" helping customers perform tasks in tongue-in-cheek emergency situations. According to a report from MacRumors, the spots were pulled from YouTube and Apple's main marketing page yesterday.

The ads are still posted to YouTube, but attempting to play one produces only a message saying that "this video has been marked as private."

Former Apple marketing exec Ken Segall was one of the most-cited voices bashing the ads, saying that "I honestly can't remember a single Apple campaign that's been received so poorly."

The spots were a rare misstep for a company that's noted both for expert marketing of its products and for zealous management of its overall public perception, so it's not a huge surprise that Apple would move quickly to try and limit the damage from the offending ads. The three spots stopped showing up on TV earlier this month, but it's possible Apple wanted to wait until well after the Olympics to pull the plug completely.

Don't fret if you're one of the few who hasn't seen the ads, however -- versions uploaded by third parties are still available on YouTube.

It's tough to disagree with the complaints from Segall and others that the ads don't paint Apple's customers in a particularly positive light.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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