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The Life of P

Deceptive Rebranding

Student Comparison EnablementOne of the HBO high ups has a novel approach for removing Digital Rights Management from media. Which is to say renaming it He hopes that the alternative “Digital Consumer Enablement” moniker might banish those nasty negative connotations. I’m with UserFriendly on this one — no longer shall we use the negative label of piracy but rather the more convivial “Consumer Choice Enhancement”. The only difference is that our new name is actually true, so maybe we’re missing the point. Perhaps Wish Granting Pony would be more in line with their novel nomenclature.

CNET’s Crave has an insightful article on how Apple’s Mac and PC ads have gradually become derailed from their original amusing roots. I know I’ve been talking about this forever but the latest ads really are getting worse as they now make the ridiculous claim that PC’s are dull and suitable only for work, while Macs are great all-rounders. The truth is, of course, that PC’s have always been the all-rounders while Macs were focused on designers. The fact that of the two the PC is the only legitimate gaming platform isn’t even worth mentioning. These adverts have gone from astute satire to smug lies. Apple are doing well, so why do Mac users still crave approval and justification for their purchase?

2 Comments

  1. I can't remember

    15 May 2007 at 4:55 pm

    To a large degree this is unsuprising. One often finds that when buying goods that don’t bear sensible comparison, it’s necessary to re-assure the buyers of the ‘premimum brands’, that they have done the correct thing by wasting their money in their chosen manner.

    So many companies run adverts specifically designed to give people a warm and fuzzy feeling inside after their purchase. Note for example Audi reasurring people that they were right to spend money on a Skoda with an expensive paint job.

    There is no even remotely sensible way of comparing modern computing equipment even for computer scientists, so there’s not a hope in hell for people with a balanced outlook on life.

    And having said which, Apple’s marketting campaigns are very successful, the number of times I’ve had their inane adverts repeated back to me as fact is truely scarey.

  2. This is true and successfulness of their adverts is worrying.

    However most premium brands are able to do this based on their own merits rather than by unflattering (or even untrue) comparisons with their competitors. They will fall back on it on occasion but with Apple it seems to be the chief focus of their campaign.

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"Luck is the residue of design."

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