Specifics Beat Celebs In IPhone Ads


Sorry Zooey, John, Samuel and Marty, you’re just not as cool as the iPhone 5. 

According to Ace Metrix, Apple’s new ads for the iPhone 5, which mark a return to basics by showing off the phone’s new features against a simple, white background, rate higher than the company’s previous ads featuring celebrities (such as Zooey Deschanel, John Malkovich, Samuel L. Jackson and Martin Scorcese) conversing with Siri. 

“[Apple] typically does better with just-the-product ads, probably because consumers are more interested in it and more receptive to it,” Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix, tells Marketing Daily. “These are very product specific and they’re doing well.”



Two of the new iPhone ads (one showcasing the new headphones and one showing off a new panoramic photo feature) were among the top three mobile ads of 2012 so far, according to the company’s Ace Score, which measures effectiveness based on viewer reaction, Daboll says. He isn’t particularly surprised the feature-focused ads are doing better than the celebrity-centric ones. Typically, ads featuring celebrities don’t score as well as those showcasing products. 

“Generally, they don’t work as well because some people like the celebrities and some don’t,” he says. “I think the product ones contain more information and appeal to a broader demographic than the celebrity ones.”

Still, the year’s top scoring ad is for Samsung, with an execution that spoofs the people waiting in line to buy a new iPhone (though the specific ad with the highest score aired in February around the Super Bowl; a newer spot geared around the iPhone 5 didn’t score as well). 

“Most people thought they were very funny, they appealed very well across all demographics,” Daboll says of the Samsung ads, noting the tactic seems to play particularly well in light of the highly publicized judgment against Samsung in its case against Apple. “I think there was a bit of the ‘root for the underdog’ in those [responses].” 

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