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Individual Communications Critique Essay

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Individual Communications Critique

Apple is a company that engages in designing, manufacturing and marketing of mobile communications and media devices, personal computers, and portable music players. The company also sells associated software, networking solutions, accessories, services and other applications. It also sells and delivers applications and digital content through Mac App, iBook Store, App Store and iTunes Store. It sells its products in the whole world through direct sales force, online stores and retail stores (Belk&Tumbat, 2005). It also sells via third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers and value added resellers. Additionally, the company sells third-party iPod, Mac, iPad and iPhone compatible products, including software applications and other accessories via its online retail stores. The company sells to consumers, small and medium businesses, education, enterprise and government agencies. Mac is the company’s line of desktop and portable personal computers. Mac has features like Intel microprocessors, the OS X operating system that includes iLife apps, Contacts, Safari Web Browser, Reminders, Messages, Calendar, and Mail. The desktop computers of the company include iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini. The company started Get A Mac (GAM) campaign in 2006.

The main goal of Get A Mac (GAM) campaign was to sell Mac computers to Window users. Apple Company wanted to make window users believe that Mac is better than a PC and hence switch (Belk&Tumbat, 2005). They displayed PC as product that is susceptible to malware problems and virus attack. On the other hand, the campaign displayed Mac as a more quality product that does not suffer from malware problems and virus attack. The other goal was to create awareness worldwide that there are new computers called Mac in the market (Fournier& Avery, 2011). Before the invention of Mac computers, it’s only PC that were available and hence customers had no other option apart from them. GAM campaign was aimed at creating awareness that there is an alternative to another series of computers called Mac. So those who had not purchased a computer and wanted to had an alternative. The other goal was to increase the sale of Mac computers in the globe. Apple Company wanted Mac product to reach all markets in the world. It believed that by marketing Mac through this campaign it would help to boost the sale of this product that it actually achieved.

Apple Companydeveloped a working communication strategy that helped it communicate effectively to its clients and meet its organizational objectives. The main objective of the GAM campaign was to ensure that Mac was brought in the consideration set. It was able clearly to outline its three goals in this GAM campaign. Its three goals were to sell its Mac computers to window users, increase its product awareness and boost the sale of Mac computers in the whole world (Knowles &Santa Maria, 2012). Its target population was not aimed at the tech informed, hard-core PC users and gamers. On the contrary, it was aimed at fence-sitters, the average people who use PC but have no knowledge about the Macs but it was easy to persuade them to do so while buying a computer. The next step was to design an effective message that would convince Windows’ users that Mac was a better and more efficient computer to use. The introduction of Intel-based Macs and OSX were the major triggers of the GAM campaign (Belk&Tumbat, 2005). Mac allowed duo booting that is running both Window XP and OSX via a boot camp and the UNIX-based gave way to the claim that Mac is of superior stability.

The message to the target population was aimed at demonstrating Mac as a superior product to PC. The threat of virus and hassles in PC usage were real concerns. To them, the consistent message was that PC was difficult to use, and it cause many problems (Jade, 2005).On the other hand, Mac was displayed as an exact opposite of a PC. It was displayed as very fast, free in hassles of usage, and free from malware problems and virus attacks (Sumner, 2007).One reason the PC users in India considered Mac was because of its duo booting ability. That formed the hook that made the target population discover the ease the ad promises. The campaign mainly focused on the negative side of the PC which evoked a lot of criticism. People especially the PC users were not happy with this display of PC as a low-quality product (Dalrymple, 2006). Some of the earlier work in the campaign targeted on the things that Mac could do better than a PC. For most people, these earlier work served the purpose than the lots that focus on the negatives of PC (Knowles &Santa Maria, 2012). The world has not yet seen that big problem with windows as the campaign had alluded. So it could have been more beneficial for the campaign to focus on its earlier work on describing the things that Mac could do better than a PC.

Displaying Mac as a superior product raised huge expectations of its users. Mac users thought that it was the best and can never face any malware problems or virus attack. The campaign should have put into consideration that Mac’s superiority is just technology, after all (Fournier& Avery, 2011). This illusion means that things could go wrong with Mac too, and some users may have a bad experience with it too. The campaign also outlined that Mac does not suffer from a virus attack. This notion can raise the interests of the hackers. Hackers may get interested in trying to design a malware or a virus for Mac, which could make its customers lose trust with the product (Jade, 2005). Some of the barbs aimed at competitive competition must be used with a lot of considerations. These barbs included freezes, restarts, lack of plug and play, the blue screen of death that were very common with the earlier versions of Windows. Versions of Vista and XP have already taken care of these barbs. In essence, the campaign message should focus more on the things that Mac can do better and cease from focusing on the negatives of the PC.

The GAM campaign employed a working creative strategy that enabled the company to win many customers in the market. Appeals address the individual needs, wants and interest. The GAM campaign employed three types of appeals namely fear, humor and rational. The campaign instilled fear on Pc users by focusing on the negative outcomes of its usage (Jade, 2005).It displayed PC as a machine that is prone to malware problems and virus attack. It also alluded that PC is slow in efficiency. These negative illusions of the PC usage made many of its users consider a Mac, which was displayed as being of superior quality as compared to PC (Knowles &Santa Maria, 2012). They said that PC is subjects to restarts, freezes and blue screen of death which made many PC users to consider a Mac as an alternative. This appeal worked in a short-term and highly boosted the global sales of Mac.

Humor appeal makes consumers laugh and create an emotional link with the product. About 53% of ads that people believe are funny or smart succeed while 73% of ads that people believe are boring fail (Weinberger &Gulas, 1992).Throughout the campaign, Mac makes crafty jibes at the PC, which are very witty but not harsh. This humor is a good tactic as studies have also shown that mean spirited humor or where brands make despicable remarks to their competition turn off viewers (Fournier& Avery, 2011). In fact, one of the major complaints that led to the failure of the Lemmings campaign was the use of insulting language towards the PC users that turned off many PC users. This campaign ran for Mac by Apple between 1985-9190 (Jade, 2005).Apple learned the lesson and in GAM campaign it did not use insulting language to the very people it wanted to influence. With the GAM campaign, Apple used a simpleton PC talking to a witty Mac whose seems to expose the dim-witted PC’S problems (Livingstone, 2011). This humor seems harmless to the viewers, and it is also able to explain the technical details about both the PC and the Mac (Weinberger &Gulas, 1992).Use of humor appeal was effective as demonstrated by the constant rise in Mac sale from 2006 and the numerous awards that Apple won due to this campaign.

Apple also used rational appeal to convince people that Mac was a better computer as compared to PC. Rational appeal focuses on the need of the consumer for practicality and functionality of a product (Newman, 2009).  GAM campaign relayed this message by focusing on the Mac’s features. They also provided proof to back up the claim. Mac was demonstrated as more practical and functional basing on its efficiency as compared to PC (Dalrymple, 2006). The campaign depicted Mac as a superior product. The superiority was demonstrated by Mac not suffering from malware problems and virus attack like a PC(Rhoads, 2007).The campaign also demonstrated that Mac does not have problems that affect PC such as restarts, no plug and play, freezes and the blue death screen. This appealed to many people, and they started considering Mac. People wanted to enjoy the superior features that Mac possessed as described by the campaign. This campaign as a whole helped Apple to gain a considerable foothold in the personal computer industry (Jade, 2005). Rational appeal was very significant in boosting the sales of Mac computers due to the depiction of the superior features it possessed over its Microsoft rival.

Apple also used a working media strategy in this MAC campaign. Media mix describes the various advertising channels that a company uses to communicate to its audience so that it can meet the objective of the campaign as outlined in the media plan (Livingstone, 2011).GAM campaign used television as its advertising media. This advertisement was created by TBWA/Media Arts Labs, and it ran from 2006 to 2009. These advertisements were shown in Japan, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States (Livingstone, 2011). These ads have become simple to recognize because each of them follows a standard simple template with a white background. The Mac was shown as a hip and young person who was confident while PC was a handsome man in a suit and looked old fashioned. The background was pure white to remove all clutter on the ad. This removal of clutter helped the user to focus only on the conversation that was taking place between the two individuals on the screen (Neal, 2006). Apple chose this media mix because it could reach many audiences a role it played very efficiently. Many people in those countries have a television, and this helped the ad to access a wider target group. In addition, television is a convenient and flexible advertising medium. The combination of audio, video, and text make ads memorable and emotional to the target audience (Newman, 2009). The effectiveness of this medium was demonstrated by the constant rising in Mac sales from 2006 when this campaign was started.

There are a few recommendations to Apple Company concerning GAM campaign. In future, the campaign should focus on what Mac can do better than PC rather than concentrating on the negatives of PC. The campaign mainly focused on the negative side of the PC which evoked a lot of criticism. They should not display Mac as the most superior product that cannot be affected by malware problems and virus attack. Mac is made by technology, and the same technology can fail which can frustrate its consumers who have huge expectations. This notion can also raise the interests of the hackers who can try designing a malware problem for Mac. In conclusion, the campaign helped to boost the sale of Mac and all other Apple products such as iPhone and iPod. It helped to promote the Apple brand name. This campaign in overall helped to make Apple one of the best producers of electronics in the whole World.

References

Belk, R. W., &Tumbat, G. (2005).The cult of Macintosh.Consumption markets & culture, 8(3), 205-217.

Dalrymple, J. (2006). Apple’s Macintosh market share soars 16 percent. Retrieved fromhttp://www.macworld.com/article/51932/2006/07/marketshare.html.

Fournier, S., & Avery, J. (2011).The uninvited brand.Business Horizons, 54(3), 193-207.

Jade, K. (2005). Apple to tackle consumer electronics; ipod “boombox”planned. Retrieved fromhttp://www.appleinsider.com/articles/05/12/12/apple_to_tackle_consumer_electronics_ipod_boombox_planned.html

Knowles, M., & Santa Maria, R. (2012). The Computer is Human: A Media Analysis of the Get a Mac Ad Campaign. The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society, 7(6), 19-28.

Livingstone, R. (2011). Better at Life Stuff Consumption, Identity, and Class in Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 35(3), 210-234.

Livingstone, R. (2011). Communication Inquiry.Journal of Communication Inquiry, 35(3), 210-234.

Neal, R. (2006). The Apple Blog. Get Mac ads: The good, the bad, and the C++ GUI programming guide. Retrieved from http://gigaom.com/apple/get-a-mac-ads-the-good-the-bad-and-the-cgui-programmers/

Newman, M. Z. (2009). Indie culture: In pursuit of the authentic autonomous alternative. Cinema Journal, 48(3), 16-34.

Rhoads, K. (2007, January 10). Get-a-mac campaign analysis.Retrieved from www.workingpsychology.com.

Sumner, J. (2007). What makes a PC? Thoughts on computing platforms, standards, and compatibility.IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, (2), 88.

Weinberger, M. G, &Gulas, C. S. (1992). The impact of humor in advertising: a review. Journal of Advertising, 21(4), 35-59.

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