The Macalope: Feelings, nothing more than feelings


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Writing for USA Today, Michael Wolff keenly sees what only pundits can: Apple doom. Yes, the writing is there on the wall, for those who have the eyes to see it. Which are invariably people who’ve naysaid the company for years. Like Wolff!

So, what bones are these modern-day witch doctors reading?

“Apple ad campaign is about … feelings.”

Dirty, shameful feelings. These feelings will be swept away during the Robot Apocalypse.

Of course, this one ad campaign isn’t the only thing that’s going to crush Apple.

Now, in a ruling last week by a federal judge concluding that Apple conspired with book publishers to fix ebook prices, it has Justice Department problems that could result in big fines and close regulation.

Big fines and close regulation …

On a tiny sliver of Apple’s business. You may recall the Justice Department tried the same thing with Microsoft a decade ago and that company has, of course, never been seen again.

But, the important message here that you absolutely cannot argue with is BOOGA-BOOGA!

But it may have even more epochal and existential issues, nowhere more evident than in its latest advertising campaign, called “Our signature.”

The advertising campaign that has driven pundits insane.

Kind of like every other Apple advertising campaign.

It’s very … artistic … sensitive. It is all about … feelings.

Ewww. Feelings. So gross.

Has Wolff ever seen a commercial before? Many, if not most of them, try to elicit a feeling. While Apple’s “I’m a Mac” commercials did hit key differences between Macs and PCs, they also tried to give viewers the feeling that older boring people use PCs, younger cooler ones use Macs.

And no one uses Linux. You know, a feeling about reality.

Sorry, the Macalope still has some desktop operating system jokes left over from 2005 that he’s got to use up before they expire.

The ad has the worried tone of people who have begun to doubt themselves …

At least according to these sheep intestines I’m looking at.

When Jobs began to get unmistakably sicker, Apple loyalists took offended umbrage at the notion that the company depended on one person. To say this was not only offensive to Apple, but to a dying man.

Offended umbrage. As opposed to the other kind. Cherry umbrage.

Wall Street, the media and the tech community agreed to be polite and not press the point about Apple losing its heart, soul and head.

Wow, that is not how the Macalope remembers it. Or how history remembers it. Or how Michael Wolff should remember it, if we can hearken back to a piece he wrote in 2009.

“Apple Dies”:

Joe Nocera, who has been writing about Apple for a long time, says yesterday on the Times site (and in this morning’s paper), “It is really hard to write about Steve Jobs and his heath problems.” That’s got to be among the most pathetic statements ever uttered by a reporter. It’s really hard to write about the emperor having no clothes.

Why does the emperor have no clothes according to Wolff?

Steve Jobs, even more a Sun God—magical, temperamental, weird, frightening—than [Rupert] Murdoch, has nobody in his company, or world, to advise him, or challenge him, or balance him.

Right. Forget the fact that Jobs didn’t want to ship iTunes for Windows and only relented after his executives insisted. Imagine where Apple would be if he hadn’t. But, despite the fact that Wolff has historically been all kinds of wrong about Apple, you should totally listen to him now when he says:

It means Apple’s historic moment of marketing genius—an exceptional unity of product and message—is quickly being lost, and with it, the point of the company.

Because those terrific product-based ads Apple was showing just two months ago apparently never happened.

Has any company other than Apple been three seconds from meltdown for so long?

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