Friday, 16 October 2015

Can You Hold Your Laptop Like This?

This is a pretty old-school ad.

There’s something very refreshing about the simple question, the implied claim. Often computer advertising gets bogged down in facts and lists. It’s too often forgotten that the vast majority of us are not so bothered about the quantum-core-quasar-swordfish-processor. We just want something that does the job, looks good, and is easy to handle.

(Although now I say it I kind of want that quantum-core-quasar-swordfish-processor. That sounds both high class and possibly a delicious meal.)

Besides, nowadays, pretty much any laptop will do pretty much any of the tasks you ask of it. So we worry less about what it does, since we already know that it’s good enough.

And sure, you could argue that it’s embarrassing to advertise a computer based on its weight, rather than its capabilities. Or to play upon a simple claim rather than the true complexity of a computer.

But I think you’ll find that Apple won that argument long ago. Computers are status symbols. They’re all about the look, the feel, the incitement of jealousy in others.

So I like this. It gets to the point, with a simple reason to buy.

I do have a couple of minor criticisms though.

The first is that trying to add a note of glamour might not really be necessary. It’s a computer, and it isn’t an Apple computer, so you’re always going to struggle to sell people on the idea that it’s sleek and sexy, no matter how much red lipstick you put on it. It’s a nice ad, but I don’t know that we really needed to be convinced with bright red and a look that could kill.

And secondly, on the note of Apple, there’s also a certain risk there that, rightly or wrongly, people will see that ad, think of a thin, light computer, and think: Apple.

Apple makes thin, light, sleek, sexy computers. That’s what we all know.

But all that aside, it’s a good execution. Simple selling point, nice art direction, clever copy. It feels like one of those old ads, like “Think Small” or “At 65 miles per hour…”; challenging, arresting. Just a little bit unexpected. 

Which, at the end of the day, is exactly what you want.

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