The latest advertising meme: making fun of Apple products

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.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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….


Amazon makes fun of the unreadable Apple iPad

Marcus makes fun of Apple’s pathetic games

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Ellen DeGeneres iPhone Commercial

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Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

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 website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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  • It is true that iPad in a brightly lit environment would be difficult to read given its mirror-like surface and backlit design. Amazon's Kindle has a surface that reads and feels much more like real paper, which is actually far more comfortable to extended and lengthy reading. It's something that many people don't realize how big of a difference it makes. Don't give me wrong, I love my iPad, but different devices do perform to different degrees depending on the purpose.

    I guess the true ease of reading is a point that is not as easy to come across to most people when they consider different options, but Kindle is truly more well designed for human physiology and less about the cool factor. Amazon has done well for its focus on the human physiology aspect of it.

    On the note about Amazon, I recently came across an interesting table that details the discounts on Amazon.

    It is at

    Maybe someone will find it useful too. While you are there, I would suggest checking out the "Amazon Filler Item" among other things there when you get a chance. It's quite amusing.
  • Who's the new guy with Apple obsession?
  • @CyberJeff75
    There are Profile pages, actually....
    Jack Schofield
  • It's a shame you don't see more of the Kindle screen in the Amazon ad. You don't really appreciate just how much more readable its e-ink screen is under bright light.

    Sadly, Amazon follows Apple's "you buy your content from us and only us" approach, so I'd never buy a Kindle. There's lots of other e-ink readers out there though.