There are certain brands and products that greatly benefit from customized advertisements. The technology company, Apple, Inc., is based out of Cupertino, California and are famous for creating the iPhone, iPad, iTunes and other hardware and software products. With nearly 500 stores in 17 countries, their global value competes with brands like Google and Coca-Cola, as their products help to unite people with common interests and desires like their operating software platform. Communication as we know it has become more globalized by the advent of Apple’s successful electronics coupled with their innovative software. This in turn helps us to become more productive in our professional and personal lives. When it comes to their advertisement, Apple’s brand is uniquely American.
Apple’s approach to advertising in different cultures can be best described as homogeneous in that the brand takes no other unique forms besides their own. Upon reviewing Apple’s advertisements from around the world, I noticed how streamlined their marketing approach has become. Commercials are merely translated from English to the language of a different country. For example, I came across the Cookie Monster ad Apple used for the iPhone 6s for several different countries with no major differences other than language. Starring Sesame Street’s own Cookie Monster, it shows how Siri may be summoned even while occupied with baking cookies. He then fools around aimlessly before inquiring with Siri on the amount of time left (which was about 50 seconds into the countdown). By using such an iconic children’s character, the intended audience may get a piece of familiarity along with some well-done humor. Because sesame street characters varies from country to country, this may be taken as a lack of interest in other cultures and Apple’s blatant disregard for anything different. The irony here is the use of the slogan “Think Different” in their earlier ads!
At home here in the U.S., Apple’s marketing is extensive and impressive. Apart from the previously mentioned iPhone 6s commercial, there is the print ad of a minimalist’s dream: the newest iPhone upon a white backdrop. Akin to high-end clothing ads, such plain ads like these prove how the Apple brand doesn’t need multicultural marketing to advertise their products because the product is not expected to change in any given part of the world. A Michael Kors bag is a Michael Kors bag. The same concept goes for Apple: electronics are electronics. Unlike food products, however, all that will change from an Apple device is the language – much like their advertisements.
One could argue that the products produced by Apple are driven by their imagery and, therefore, require less adaptation to multicultural markets. Advertising leged, Marcio Moreira makes this case, stating how certain products doesn’t need to be “developed locally.” A product from a fast-food restaurant, on the other hand, would require a menu reflective of the local cuisine. A KFC in Morocco, for example, offers rice as a side dish instead of the coleslaw which we Americans are more familiar with. Thus, Apple products would need to be marketed as commodities that eludes any boundaries.
When visiting Apple’s website, a link can be found toward the bottom of the page to correspond to the appropriate country. I was expecting to find some variation between the many different countries but to no avail. In this respect, however, it may be more beneficial to both the company and the consumer to make the information available, as well as to make the buying process uniform. Apple, nonetheless, should understand the need to address certain markets through a customizable approach. Felipe Korzenny writes in his article, “Multicultural Marketing and the Reasons Why,” that “Emerging minorities are eager to adopt new technologies and use media in different ways.” If Apple were to cater to minority consumers, their trust in Apple may grow exponentially. Apple should approach multiculturalism with a multifaceted consumer experience.
Thus far, Apple has chosen to play it safe when it comes to global marketing. This may be due to a fear of failure in the execution of advertising to a multicultural audience. A more cynical reason is their culmination of a sort of high culture that is highly sought after. In David Burgos’ piece, “Use and Abuse of Cultural Elements in Multicultural Advertising,” he makes the point about companies catering to different cultures and how it should “be well integrated into the story of the advertisement to make real sense to consumers.” This shows how Apple’s homogenous approach to multiculturalism gets them out of potential gaffs or political incorrectness.
Apple Inc., is a tech company that may lack in multicultural execution of ads, but is granted a pass because of its mass consumption across the world. They streamline their advertisement of their products to benefit both the company and its consumers. As a result of this, Apple’s loyal customers continue to come back to the company and anticipate any and every release of new products. I’m currently typing on a Mac, texting on an iPhone and watching news from my Apple TV. What was it that drew me to all of this? It was likely a number of things (including content marketing, which is a beast on its own), but someway and somehow, they did something right!