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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

How Did Apple’s U2 Freebie Go So Wrong?

u2 lpApple and U2 have been dealing with negativity over the past week or so all because they gave users a free copy of the band’s new album “Songs of Innocence.” What gives? Don’t people like a freebie? Don’t people like U2?

The “gift,” as the band tweeted, went to 500 million users automatically at a cost to Apple of what some have estimated $100 million. I argued here that the band was upstaged by Apple’s other announcements from the September 9 event. This is the first U2 album in five years and — yes I’m biased because I have a soft spot for the band — but this is a big deal. It deserves its own fanfare.

But it looks like the situation is even worse. People were really upset by the move.

First off, some people with questionable taste just could bear the idea of the album being on their devices. Some have moved on to other bands and can’t be bothered while others, just to annoy us with their annoying youth, say they’ve never heard of U2. Lies!

But the answer might sit more squarely in the word that Slate used to describe the marketing ploy: creepy.

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Did U2 Get Upstaged By The iPhone?


For those with iTunes, Beats Music and iTunes Radio access, you’ve probably noticed something new and interesting floating around: a new U2 album. Hey now! This is big news. It’s been five years since U2 had an album of new songs. And this is the band that made “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” easily one of the best songs ever. But it hasn’t been met with quite the fanfare one would expect.

That’s not a comment on the music, but rather on the release. U2 both announced and released the album during yesterday’s big Apple event. This was an event that featured the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, Apple Pay and this guy. There’s only so much information that we can digest at one event.

As a result, the album release for one of the biggest bands in the world has been a little muted.

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10 Brands That Tried to Newsjack the #AppleLive Event

Apple Store 2

Different brands used yesterday’s Apple product launch in different ways: Samsung ran sponsored tweets to try and draw attention away from its competitor while Snapchat took the opportunity to ensure that a very unflattering press release received as little attention as possible.

Quite a few brands, however, saw it as an opportunity for some not-quite-real-time marketing to try and break through the 2.4 million tweets about the event.

They entered the social conversation with varying degrees of success (in no particular order).

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Is an Infinity Scarf Appropriate Event Attire?

infinity scarfIn the midst of all the excitement about the new iPhone 6 devices and the Apple Watch, there was one person who managed to steal a little bit of thunder. He’s a game developer and he took the stage to talk about something that clearly very few people cared about because I just looked at a number of stories and could not find one mention of what this man talked about.

However, there was so much chatter about that purple infinity scarf that he got a hashtag, #scarfguy, and, of course, the scarf has a Twitter handle, though there is only one lonely tweet there.

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#AppleLive Event Encountering Some Technical Difficulties

Apple may aspire to “control” journalists in some ways, but it’s tough to prevent viewers from commenting when the world’s most-watched live stream keeps crashing, broadcasting Chinese translations over Tim Cook’s voice and creating some trippy visuals:

More fun after the jump.

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Apple Insider Spills Secrets: ‘This Isn’t PR. This Is Something Else.’

Apple cube

We recently posted on the biggest takeaways from 9to5Mac’s extensive inside look at Apple’s media relations strategy.

The piece provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the company’s one-of-a-kind culture, and as a follow-up we were fortunate enough to speak with a source close to Apple’s international PR team for an insider’s take on the story…and more.

What did you think of the 9to5Mac piece?

Nothing surprised me; the only thing I would object to is the part about shredding the strategic “white books” before events.  They were referring to “At a glance” docs, which are simply printouts. PR receives them a few days before each event and hands them back to management when it’s over.

And the part about PR doubling as bodyguards?

Yes, I did see a PR blocking a couple of photographers who were trying to take pictures of Steve Jobs at one event.

How did the Jobs-to-Cook transition affect internal strategy?

At the beginning it was not noticeable at all, but people saw that Cook seemed far more proactive on sustainability, CSR, workers’ rights in China, etc. In terms of general strategy, though, nothing changed.

How closely does the international organization work with the American PR team? Read more

Tim Cook Almost Apologizes to Celebs for iCloud Leak

timcook-300x258There’s been a lot of news about Apple this week, and there will be even more news about the company next week when it introduces the world to a watch, a new version of iOS, a new iPad model, a new iPhone and a bigger iPhone (according to Kevin Roose).

On the “celebrity scandal” front, we’d like to turn your attention to the interview with CEO Tim Cook that went live on The Wall Street Journal last night. It’s particularly striking given the company’s “we’re looking into it” statement from Monday.

It also fits very well with the narrative provided by our anonymous “insider” source, who told us that Cook is looking to put a friendlier — and more apologetic — face on the company he runs.

Let’s just say Steve Jobs would not have given an interview like this one.

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PR Veterans Weigh in on Apple Expose

apple-logo-pngPardon us for being all Apple today, readers, but it’s hard to look away when the world’s most influential company makes waves (especially since we had a revealing conversation with someone close to its international communications team yesterday).

Earlier this week we reviewed takeaways from the extensive 9t05Mac piece on the company’s comms operations, and today three industry influencers gave us their impressions.

Dan Lyons, journalist-turned marketing fellow at HubSpot and creator of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

I think it was a great series. Very insightful. There is still more work to be done in exposing the collusion and coziness between Apple and certain bloggers and members of the mainstream media.

In fact, I have no problem with Apple being as manipulative as it possibly can. That is what PR is supposed to do, and Apple is very good at PR. The real culprits are the reporters and bloggers who play along.

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14 Takeaways from the Epic Apple PR Expose

Apple Store

ICYMI, the Apple-obsessive blog 9to5Mac posted a truly epic 9-part story last Friday titled “Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media”. The piece served as a long weekend must-read for anyone with an interest in the communications or technology industries.

The work was so deep that it almost demanded episodic recaps a la Orange Is the New Black. We didn’t finish it until last night because we spent much of the long weekend competing with ourselves to see how many IPAs we could drink in a 24-hour period (not really), but we thoroughly recommend it.

Senior Editor Mark Gurman sought to answer the questions: What sort of strategic advantage has allowed the company to play the media like a well-worn string instrument for the past decade?

Here, then, are 14 things we learned from the piece.

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Apple Reveals Very Little About iCloud Glitch Linked to Celebrity Photo Leak

Icloud

In a quick move that should surprise no one who read any of 9to5Mac’s exhaustive look into Apple’s PR department, the tech giant very quickly addressed concerns stemming from the weekend incident in which intimate photos of several media personalities leaked online.

The Next Web honed in on iCloud as a possible source for the leak soon after news broke, reporting that a glitch in the “Find My iPhone” service “appears to have allowed malicious users to ‘brute force’ a target account’s password on Apple’s iCloud”

Yesterday a company rep told Re\code:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

As soon as that story went live, multiple headlines claimed that Appleappears to have fixed” the problem. Read more

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