According to one analyst, Apple should look to remove the stink of 'antennagate' with the help of a deodorant maker.
Recently, Old Spice made waves in the PR world with a unique advertising campaign where actor Isaiah Mustafa starred in customised video clips that responded directly to user questions and comments. The videos ranged from responses to Tweets to wedding proposals. The videos were a hit, and about as close as any billion-dollar corporation can get to having a viral video hit.
So how does that concern Apple? Well, according to Pund-IT principal analyst Charles King, the Old Spice campaign should serve as the inspiration for Apple in its response to the recent iPhone 4 antenna debacle.
King doesn't mean that Steve Jobs should trade in his black turtleneck for a bath towel (sorry for that mental image,) but the company should adopt that sort of direct approach to its users.
Writes King: "As outstanding an executive as Jobs has been, the Antennagate press conference became a necessity due to elemental corporate errors and breakdowns. Jobs' performance may have shown that he understands the importance of communicating with crucial financial stakeholders, but so far as connecting with actual customers goes, the Old Spice Guy has Jobs and Apple beat hands down."
In other words, had Apple foregone the secrecy and hostility towards the reports initially, Jobs would never have had to stand up there on stage and slip an apology in between hurling insults at the press and competing vendors.
The analyst is right in this case. Apple is a company that tries to keep very tight control of how it is presented to the public. It doesn't like to go through the press or outside agencies. Given Apple's own tendencies and corporate culture, and the dedicated nature of many of its users, the company could definitely have success should it decide to address issues sooner and on a more personal level with its customers.
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