You’re underestimating us, Apple

Who, exactly, buys iPhones?

I’ve been wondering this lately because I want an iPhone 4 so badly that my iPhone 3gs looks to me like something a cavewoman would have used, and every time I hear an Apple commercial come on I run to the tv to get my salivate on.

The feature of the iPhone 4 that Apple is focusing on in this first round of advertising is, understandably, FaceTime. Not only is it cool, it’s also the easiest thing to demonstrate in a short amount of time – it’s video chat the way you do it on a computer. You’re down all tiny and cute (like me!)  in the corner and whoever you’re chatting with is filling up the remainder of the screen. The fact that the iPhone 4 has two cameras, one facing each way, is what makes that possible.

There are five released FaceTime commercials so far. I’ll include them at the bottom of this post so you can see them if you so desire.

The first one is the only one longer than 30 seconds and is the one most likely to make anyone with a heart and/or soul cry. It’s a montage of people using FaceTime to check in during important or moving events like graduations and sonograms and yeah, you do sort of walk away thinking ‘well I don’t want to be missing those things!’.

Commercials 2-5 were released last week and are 30 seconds each, and when you watch them all together, a theme emerges.

The person holding the camera is always male.

In my experience, I am more inclined to a) notice and b) get worked up about this kind of thing than your average 29 year old woman, but still.

  • Spot 1 is a dad talking to his daughter who just got braces. He’s trying to make her laugh so he can see them, and it’s really quite funny – especially when he sings the little ‘she’ll never smile again’ song.
  • Spot 2 is a husband hearing from his wife that they’re pregnant. She’s using language that makes you think they’re both in public (“you know that thing we’ve been working on?”), which seems like a poor use of video chat to me, but whatever.
  • Spot 3 is a man showing his new daughter to someone I think is probably his father, so the only woman in this one doesn’t even talk.
  • Spot 4, my personal favorite, is a man (boyfriend? husband?) talking to a woman who just got the cutest freaking pixie cut ever. He’s reassuring her that it’s cute.

Two are a man reassuring a woman regarding her looks, one is about a woman procreating, and one doesn’t have a woman in it at all (even though she must be there somewhere, since it’s unlikely the fellow with the phone birthed the baby girl himself).

I get that they’re going for emotional connections here. Showing how an interior designer could use it to give a travelling client a quick around the room view of what he or she is considering doesn’t really make the average Jane want to rush out to the store and buy it. However, why is it men’s emotional connections they’re going for?

Hey dudes, we’re Apple, and we’ll help you keep your lady happy.

According to AdMob’s research from February of this year, 57% of iPhone users are male, and the average age of users is 36.

Was the assumption that we, the female iPhone consumers, would think ‘well would you look at that. If I buy an iPhone, my boyfriend/husband/whoever will be there for me when I need him! And maybe even tell me my hair looks cute!’? If so, did they think that that would be enough?

It’s not, Apple.

I do appreciate you not making a sparkly pink version and calling it ‘the L-Phone’, but we account for 85% of all consumer purchases and are only 43% of your customer base. Your gadget is super cool, but your math skills seem to be slightly lacking.

Of course, I’m still going to get an iPhone 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1wbQdVezio

The long spot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niOCmIuts90

Smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CRfHl1Glwk

Big news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2Wn7rYSBVQ

Meet her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diUjVY8zRJc

Haircut.

This entry was posted in Feminism, Reviews, Tech. Bookmark the permalink.

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