The latest advertising meme: making fun of Apple products

Summary:Amazon has just released a 30 second advert for its Kindle ebook reader that is based on making fun of Apple’s iPad. The scene shows a man with an iPad sunbathing next to an attractive woman with a Kindle 3.

Amazon has just released a 30 second advert for its Kindle ebook reader that is based on making fun of Apple’s iPad. The scene shows a man with an iPad sunbathing next to an attractive woman with a Kindle 3. She can read the screen of her device and he can’t read his. The punchline: “It only cost $139: I actually paid more for these sunglasses,” she says.

Amazon is not going to spend the vast sums that Apple spends on TV advertising, but making fun of the iPad may mean it doesn’t have to. Many people will watch the ad on YouTube and other sites, and bloggers will blog about it. Ideally, Apple’s notoriously touchy but humour-challenged fanboys will give Amazon’s advert masses of extra publicity by complaining endlessly about it.

This technique is becoming increasingly popular in contemporary tech advertising.

For example, Sony has also mocked Apple in an advert for the PlayStation Portable where Josh Rose (Kidding Himself) holds up an iPhone with a “sweet game”. Marcus Rivers, a very sharp kid, disses him saying: “That ain’t built for big-boy games, that’s built for texting your grandma.” In a follow-up (below), Marcus mocks a feeble iPhone game before saying: “So put down that garbage and pick up something nice…”

Both Samsung and Verizon have run print ads that make fun of the Apple iPhone 4’s defective antenna design (the Droid X “allows you to hold the phone any way you like”). Motorola has joined in with mocking ads using the tagline: No Jacket Required, and Flash Websites? There’s A Phone For That.

Of course, people have been mocking Apple’s formulaic advertising for a while. Late Night With Conan O'Brien ran a spoof iPhone advert that showed how the iPhone had many different uses, ending with: “It’s also a hard-to-use cellphone”. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres also made a spoof iPhone ad (and apologised after Apple got mad) while Glee’s Jane Lynch and Kassem G did another on Electric Spoofalo. There have been many more amateur efforts. It’s fun.

And it may be that all those comedy spoofs have helped encourage commercial companies to mock Apple products as a way of promoting their own….

Videos

Amazon makes fun of the unreadable Apple iPad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGmRKSds9OY

Marcus makes fun of Apple’s pathetic games http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IOt19iOED0

Late Night With Conan O'Brien - iPhone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N68_cp1vEFs

Ellen DeGeneres iPhone Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTMC_yjhYww

Stalking your ex-girlfriend - there’s an app for that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k3zvI2tyPM

Topics: Tech Industry

About

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first webs... Full Bio

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