Dow Jones & Company

Dow Jones' media columnist tells Apple to fix its iPhone ads

July 11, 2011: 11:48 AM ET

Those TV spots are No. 1 in Jon Friedman's list of ways the phone can regain its "swagger"

Source: Apple Inc.

You might think that Apple (AAPL) would know best how to promote its own products.

You would be wrong, according to Jon Friedman, the media columnist for Dow Jones' (NWS) MediaWatch. His Monday offering starts with the premise that the iPhone has lost its "swagger," and then helpfully offers seven ways the company can regain it, starting with "Improve the advertising campaign."

"I cringe," writes Friedman, "when I hear those TV commercials proclaiming that 'If you don't have an iPhone, you don't have an iPhone,' whatever that means. To me, it represents an elitist view of its customers in the marketplace. This may even represent a dangerous notion that an iPhone is somehow a status symbol. A friend of mine in Manhattan not long ago was in the act of calling me on his iPhone when a kid ran by, snatched it out of his hand and raced off, thrilled with his bounty. Do people feel equally as compelled to pilfer BlackBerrys? As a customer, I resent the implication that Apple thinks the iPhone makes me better than nonusers. I don't need the status. I need better service."

As an AT&T (T) customer, I hear you, Jon, about the service. But a phone so lacking in swagger than hoodlums are thrilled to snatch them out of users' hands? Hmm.

In any event, Apple has offered a timely opportunity for you to judge for yourself. It aired two new iPhone ads Sunday night -- one featuring the iPhone 4's AirPlay feature and the other FaceTime -- which I've posted below the fold.

For the rest of Friedman's advice to Steve Jobs, click here.

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