Rumor has it that Poland Orange has launched a pre-iPhone 3G marketing campaign that is paying dozens of actors to stand in line to buy one of the new devices. Mortar’s very own head of brand strategy, Vikki Garrod comments on Orange’s attempt to enhance iPhone’s image.
"What’s saddest about Orange’s stunt is that the company has confused
true brand loyalty with marketing,"
said Vikki Garrod, head of brand stragy at Mortar.
"They have looked at the raging success that the iPhone enjoyed
in the U.S. — with real Apple fans lining the streets in anticipation
of the launch — and said ‘We want that, too.’ So they have tried to
buy it," Garrod said. "You can’t buy sales. And you can’t fake
devotion. They openly admit to employing this stunt. They don’t see why
that would be wrong. Which is their biggest problem."
While this is an Orange initiative, Garrod said Apple is very
much implicated by association, and the company needs to be careful.
Apple is the people’s brand. Its fans see it as real and up-front, she
said. To be implicated in a stunt that is as disingenuous as this is
not a good thing, in Garrod’s view.
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Wait, “Apple is the people’s brand”? Seriously? From Jobs’s dictatorial ways to the company’s suing customers to TBWA’s masterfully-done ads over the years (although please kill the silhouettes already-they’re not the next Absolut), I can’t think of many brands out there that are more carefully managed and LESS user-generated than Apple’s. That all the iSheep out there don’t see through it, however, is a sign of hope for those of us in this business.
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