Ok so you’ve seen them before. You kinda love’um or hate’um. But from the success of sales and the dominance of the mobile market, I’m guessing your absolutely loving the new Apple iPhone 5.
These little commercials, if we can call them that. These adverts that show the features of the iPhone product do more than what most commercials do.
What are you talking about?
Well they tell a short story from capturing your attention with some light-hearted humour. To moving to benefits. To concluding how much better your life would be, without them having to tell you. That’s right, you have worked it out yourself.
This is storytelling and how Apple tells their product stories is fantastic.
So why have more than one short story?
Three reasons, Fans, Conversation and of course Product benefits.
Its for these three reasons excitement is built. The short stories around the product fuels the fans, the early adopters, the ones who are happy to camp in a que to get the product before anyone else. This buzz and conversation then filters down through the different communities in which the fans and the brand touch.
There are more than one story, because their is more than one product benefit. Apple remain focused on displaying the benefits while keeping the typical 30 second slot intact by using focused messages.
Clearing the way to communicate one benefit of the device effectively. Concentrates the audiences time on how the device actually helps them, to show them, demonstrating the ease of use. Allows the customer to go in and replicate the experience making the experience seem intuitive.
This seamless transition from hard buttons to touch screens, understanding which way to swipe and how to interact with the device.
The Apple Fanboys will seek out and share these short stories within their community. These individuals are powerful, reaching evangelical status for the brand. Talking and expressing the excitement on behalf of the brand spreading the message through word of mouth. Or the modern equivalent Social Media.
Its not just the Fanboys, the wider audiences will talk about the different product stories they have seen. With YouTube and other video services at the fingertips. It doesn’t take long to find and extend the experience.
How do these stories succeed in informing the audience without forcing it upon them?
There are 3 points that Apple get right about storytelling in today’s advertising space. They are Entertaining, Educating and Inspiring. Apple tie these three elements together to bring their story alive.
Think of Apple as a mentor within their brand story. Here to help assist you to become better. The conflict within the story surrounds the fact of keeping audiences aware of the products and keeping them intuitive. The mentor shows the main character (You the audience) how it can solve your problem. But more than that, how to use the devices.
In Carmine Gallo’s book “The Secret Presentation tips of Steve Jobs“ he identifies three areas that Steve Jobs uses in his presentations. They can also be applied to the short stories that Apple tell of their products.
Light humour is common amongst Apple advertising and its no difference for the product short stories.
By showing the aesthetically pleasing product, with touch of humour such as “how can something get bigger, yet smaller?” or “more of it but less of it”.
I believe that the clean design of the Apple brand allows you not only to focus in on the products. But also learn.
These videos not only show the audiences that the new product has arrived but show them how to use it. They demonstrate the Show Not Tell Philosophy, showing the benefits, how to use and simplicity of the product. Rather than the traditional message of telling of the benefits. Though traditional messages could show the product in use it does not how ever go demonstrate the steps in doing so.
The focus of the short stories around a different product benefit shows the audience why they should have it. Where most TV spots usually are cluttered with multiple benefits and try to fit everything into a mere 30 seconds.
The Entertainment + Educational elements allow Apple’s product stories to become more than a commercial. Why? the tone is more conversational, and jargon is minimal if at all. Its like a friend was talking to you advising and assisting.
When both Entertainment and Educational elements come together it brings context to the story and a purpose to the product. With this in mind it allows you the audience to figure out the possibilities of the device for your personal life.
Apple will continue to push to develop interesting stories around their products. This also is a massive differentiator from competitors who are still on cluttered messages talking about the what and how of a product. Rather than why should I be buying into the belief and use of a certain product over another.