Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone Envy

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 weeks and haven’t heard, Apple released the iPhone on Friday June 29th. People camped in front of stores to be among the first to buy the device dubbed the “Jesus Phone”. At the MacWorld conference, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as a revolutionary product (he did this while wearing jeans, sneakers, and a shirt with no collar, but that’s an article for another day). The iPhone gets us one step closer to convergence, to one device nirvana. For those of you who juggle an iPod, cell phone, blackberry, and laptop, your load just got a lot lighter.

But this is a marketing/media blog, not my own personal wish list (although judging by the amount of candy I received after the TV & Candy post, I may need to rethink that). How did the geniuses at Apple and their agency create so much buzz and anticipation that people actually slept overnight to buy their new product? In my estimation, it has 75% to-do with it being a kick#ss product. The thing rocks. But the other 25% is marketing brilliance. Apple’s TV spots do a great job at illustrating that the product is easy to use and they do it in that oh-so-Apple way. Check out one of the teaser ads here:

In addition to Apple’s TV ads, their PR machine was in full blitz mode as well. The number of articles written about the iPhone in the mainstream press and blogosphere is off the charts. There are more youtube videos about this thing than you can shake a (memory) stick at. How much of this is paid advertising? How much of it is buzz marketing? How much of it is organic WOM?

I guess the point is that it’s easy to market a great product. The iPhone might have sold out even if the ad campaign was terrible. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get a chance to work on something like this at some point in your career. The job is a lot tougher when the product doesn’t sell itself. That is when clients need us most.

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