Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 10 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 20-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.
In 2007, the first-generation iPhone was launched with the slogan “This Changes Everything.” Not “Most Everything.” Not “Everything In Mobile Communications.”
Then in 2008, the 3G iPhone’s advertising was tagged with the self-congratulatory “The First Phone To Beat The iPhone.”
You could hear the heavy chest-thumping out of Cupertino all over Silicon Valley.
Notice that these two lines were inward facing, ignoring the consumer. Apple’s “Think Different” was also a bit of an hubristic tagline, but it had a real truth to it; PCs still dominated the computer industry in the late 1990s, and if you used an Apple at the time, you were thinking differently. And it was a consumer-facing line, not a pompous yet meaningless cliché.
Faced with increasing competition from Samsung and others in 2010, a lot was riding on the release of the iPhone 4. Apple and its long-time agency TBWA would surely have to tag it with something a bit more clever.
Instead, it just doubled-down on the arrogance and meaninglessness.
Where the Hell do you go with your tagline after that: “This Changes Everything. Again. (Again)”?
No, you go back to your masturbatory 3G slogan, except you make it even dumber and chest-thumpier. Oh thank you, Tech Lords; we commoners are not worthy.
Then this summer, Apple/TBWA released a series of iPhone image spots with maybe the worst, probably the most arrogant, definitely the most childish slogan in advertising history.
“If It’s Not An iPhone, You’re A Poopy Face.”
“If It’s Not iPhone, Go Fuck Yourself.”
At least those would have been consumer-facing.
And now, this month, the newly unveiled 6S comes fresh with yet another bullshit-detector-melting tagline:
They’ve managed to say absolutely nothing while still spouting a bald-faced lie. According to tech critics, the only major change with the 6S is a better camera.
Who the hell is writing this garbage?
There have been zero product benefits offered in any of the iPhone taglines, no wittiness, no humor. For example, Carlsberg’s hubristic but charming slogan: “Probably The Best Beer In The World.”
Next year, the iPhone 7 will be introduced with yet another pompous press conference. What will the slogan be? Let’s try to guess.
It’s just another phone, Tim Cook. Maybe dial it back a notch.