The Apple 'Genius' Ads Everyone Hated Are Over

Move to Remove Campaign After 'First Run' Airings Signals Huge Departure From Marketing Strategy

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Apple's never been one to cave to consumer criticism. Think back to 2010, when, in the wake of the announcement of the iPad, it batted off a spate of feminine-hygiene jokes with ease.

The 'Genius Bar' ads appear to be done after just a couple of weeks on air.
The 'Genius Bar' ads appear to be done after just a couple of weeks on air.
Steve Jobs famously ignored those who took issue with the product's branding, and in many ways, that was a smart thing. After all, the iPad is now in its third generation, leading the tablet market with 17 million iPads shipped in the second quarter of 2012 alone, above its previous record of 15.4 million in fourth quarter of 2011.

Be that as it may, we have to wonder if new CEO Tim Cook may be listening to consumers a bit more than his predecessor. It's with a surprising swiftness that the recent batch of Apple TV ads -- which, as we wrote last week, debuted on the Olympics to incredibly harsh backlash -- appear to be done after just a couple of weeks on air.

According to one executive familiar with the matter, the Genius Bar ads will no longer be running on TV. An earlier Mashable report stated the ads were done, but also noted that they were intended only for a "first run" during the Olympics, which meant just the first weekend of the games.

Apple executives didn't respond to requests for comment, and its agency, TBWA/Media Arts Lab, declined to comment on the matter. In a curious move, the Genius Bar ads were never promoted to press. And credits for the folks who worked on the commercials, something that is typically always circulated in connection with TBWA's work, were never released.

The ads do remain prominently displayed on Apple's website, however.

Unlike many of Apple's earlier creative campaigns, rather than promote a specific new product or a special product feature, the trio of Genius Bar ads that ran during the Olympics starred a man posing as a Genius Bar employee helping folks, when he's not ridiculing someone for not buying a Mac. The latest ads are character driven, in the same vein as the "Get a Mac" campaign starring John Hodgman and Justin Long and directed by Phil Morrison of Epoch Films. But instead of depicting the PC as a bumbling idiot, the newest campaign makes the everyday consumer look the fool, as many have complained.

The idea that Mashable put forth regarding Apple never intending to run the spots beyond the Olympics, if true, would be a huge departure.

Apple generally sticks to a theme when it comes to its TV advertising and unleashes a variety of iterations. The "Get a Mac" campaign produced more than 60 spots during its run, and even the Siri campaign that preceded the Genius Bar ads had several iterations, featuring celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Scorcese and John Malkovich.

The company's not been known for one-offs -- with the exception of the legendary "1984" spot, which ran just once during the Super Bowl. And no matter which side of the argument you stand on with the Genius Bar spots, in terms of copywriting and the thematic feel, there's just no comparison.

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