About a week ago I ran across this iPod Mini ad. It’s a great looking commercial and definitely worth checking out, but that’s not the whole story. Actually, the whole story is that this was made by no one at Apple or associated with the company. In fact, it wasn’t even made by an agency at all. It was made by a fan who had some time on his hands.
I think it’s pretty amazing that a company is creating products that customers love so much they actually want to create advertisements themselves. Apple should be proud that they have customers as happy as George Masters (the creator of the Mini ad).
If you ask me (and I know you haven’t), this is what the internet is all about. What’s more, this is what blogs should be all about for companies. More companies should attempt to forge honest relationships with consumers and maybe one day they’ll find that people are making ads for them. (Once people do make ads for the companies, don’t squash them by the legal department. That’s a biggie.)
Next, why doesn’t Apple have a blog? I expect that this is what Apple is experimenting with on its Student Blog. But Apple should invite more people to tell their stories. There are so many blogs dedicated just to the company (take Wired’s “Cult of Mac” for example). Why not invite these people in the door? Give them a say and see what they create. Clearly there’s some talent in the pool and maybe Apple can find themselves some new employees. But at the very least, they will be reinforcing a brand image of forward thinking and openness (which just happens to be the opposite of the brand image that most people have for Microsoft).
On another note, I’m very impressed by Wired. I think I realized today that if there was only one website I could check, that would probably be it. While Wired is a little behind, they move much faster than nearly any other mainstream news institution. They are closer to the cutting edge than any other mainstream Magazine I can think of. They have a good mix of mainstream and tech news with the occasional random interesting article thrown in. If you’re not at least reading Wired News every day, you’re missing out. So get on it.