Less Apps, more Apples – more than just a quirky line

April 16, 2013

The recent Somersby Cider ad from the UK is one of the more interesting pieces of advertising we’ve seen in a while.  It reveals itself slowly, on the surface a light hearted and witty play on words and on our attitude to technology (Apple in particular), but when looked at more closely it keeps giving, with multiple layers of cultural significance within.

A marketing ‘in—joke’?

At a surface level, it is just plain fun.  The vision of hoards queuing to enter a ‘Mac’ store, and the re-imagination of language via the product provide smiles, and a few laugh out loud moments (and ‘inter-face’).  Personally I’d have loved to be in the agency when this idea got the go-ahead.  Apple is so often held up as the paragon of branding, who we are all chasing, to have the balls to say – ok then, lets do a parody is a little bit of genius!

Showing our darker side

But what turns this from being a fun, entertaining piece of frivolity, to something far deeper is the timing.  Culturally we see people reconsidering both their attitudes and reliance on technology (who would have every dreamed we’d all understand the phrase ‘Facebook Detox’), but Apple is also floundering.  The hoards queuing to enter the palace of ‘helpers’ designed to teach you the new doctrine now feels like something vaguely nostalgic, a scene from the past pre-GFC era, when Jobs was still at the helm. 

In summary, it works well at conveying humour, in forcing us to laugh at ourselves, our consumerism, whilst taking a pot-shot at what was previously the untouchable God of branding.  Not to mention playing on the category truth of cider as an ‘outsider’ vs. beer (Apple vs. Microsoft in the 90s anyone?) 

For a challenger brand, I’d say the gauntlet is well and truly thrown down!