Apple’s latest ad campaign extending out from the WWDC event is an identity ad that many have panned in online forums and in the media. Some take shots that Apple is trying to hide that almost all of their products are made in China, or that the ad is bit pompous and arrogant.
The simple truth is that “Designed” line has been around a long time. If you read the back an iPod as far back as the original 2001 model, you would find these lines…
“Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Taiwan.”
Later replaced with:
“Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”
Back then I noticed the line right away, and I thought it an extremely smart statement. Because what it says is that there’s a lot of work, ideation, vision, and flat out creation done at Apple headquarters, and that a “Made in China” label simply lacks important information that should not be left unsaid.
While many other PC and iDevice makers may just pull from off-the-shelf designs, or shop designs originating from China, Apple’s R&D is based in the U.S.A, and Apple is saying there’s something here that needs to be given credit.
Keep in mind Apple is an R&D monolith. Heck, with all the “iProfits” they’ve rightfully made, they’ve been able to push design innovation to such an envelope that they flat out invent new ways of metallurgy, material creation, and design that to simply say “Made in China” on the back gives away a lot of credit.
I think there’s strong merit to stating that there’s something to be profoundly proud of in stating that a product is “Designed by Apple in California”. I simply can’t fault Apple for saying “California” instead of “USA” since, to me, it’s OK to be proud of where you’re from, where your roots are, and if it happens to be a part of the fabric of the company and in it’s in your DNA, then “California” is OK by me. I’m looking forward to the new Mac Pro possibly saying, “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Texas.”
Perhaps other companies should be so bold as to give credit to where credit is due. Perhaps others can’t.
“Does this deserve to exist?”
That is one the strongest key statements of the ad campaign to me. As it’s more than likely that most other companies wish they could make products as good as the ones Apple never made. The rejects, the ones Apple internally said they could do better, or far into the R&D process decided to throw everything out and start over because it wasn’t good enough. The products we’ll never see, are the products the “me toos” wish they could invent let alone introduce as a new paradigm.
That fortitude to grind forward to make something better, is the power to create a new standard, and I’ll make no short measure of it, computers, portable music players, phones, and the new tablet market wouldn’t be what they are without Apple creating the products that set the bar, and showed a new way of doing things.
Whether you like the ads, or consider them to self serving is your call. I’m just saying there’s merit to the emotional pride and and statement that it makes.
“Designed by Apple in California”
So much is said in just five words.