There are a lot of heads being scratched over Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) no longer running its “Boy Genius” television advertisements that have aired during coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in London. The question being asked is, why would a company stop running commercials just a week or so into a 17-day televised event?
There are a couple of answers being bandied about, and are explored in a recent article. The story that “officially” comes out of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is that the ads were entirely meant to run just a short time during the Olympics as a market research tool.
The reason “official” is in quotes is because … well, the statement to that effect didn’t come from Apple headquarters directly – it came from its advertising firm, TWBA/Media Arts Lab.
The second story revolves around public perception. There are some who may find the ads funny or clever, but there are those who could have taken offense to the ads, since they portray average people as ignorant or plain dumb about technology. And it could be that, while these ads, run, the “market research” Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have performed was to see if people took offense to being portrayed as technologically ignorant, and perhaps a cacophony of negative comments forced Apple to pull the ads sooner rather than later in order to save some sensitivities, and its reputation.
There has been a history of ads being pulled because of pople getting offended – some get pulled before they even air, wile others run once or just a few times before being yanked. Whether these ads were only meant for a limited time to begin with, or whether the plug-pulling was premature due to collective outrage, it is hard to figure. But it is noteworthy that the “official” statement about this came from the ad agency that bought the spots, not from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). In fact, here is how that statement was written: “The ads were intended only for a ‘first run’ during the Olympics, which meant just the first weekend of the Games.”
A first run? That seems to suggest these ads will run again in the future. But if they were deemed “offensive,” then wouldn’t Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have offered its own statement with an apology for signing off on these ads? It seems that the disconnect between Apple and its ad agency in this regard is probably more noteworthy than the statement itself.