Thursday, April 21, 2011

iPod Touch Mother's Day Ad Aims at Boomers' Children

I was blown away by Apple's iPod Touch advertisement for Mother's Day, which seems to me to be aimed at the children of the Boomer mom. I received this ad in an email today. The ad says:



Mom can see you anytime with FaceTime on iPod touch. She can make a FaceTime call to an iPhone 4, iPod touch, iPad 2, and Mac.* She'll also enjoy HD video recording, apps, and more. 

Apple, of course, is right. Who would want this item more than a mom with a kid in college or some grandkids in another state? And who are these people Apple is trying to reach? Baby Boomers, of course. The ad does neglect to remind buyers that they'll have to make sure there is Wi-Fi in mom's house or she won't be able to make that FaceTime call. But I digress.

Apple goes one step further and suggests some apps you might want to download for your mom. That way the iPod can be loaded with apps mothers can use from the start. They include "Yoga STRETCH" an app that has custom and preloaded yoga sessions complete with instructions and music; ShopKick for the shopper mom, an app that offers deals and rewards at major retailers; Instagram which will let mom turn her pictures into "works of art"; and then for baker mom: Martha Stewart Makes Cookies. The ad also suggests Books, so mom can read on her iPod Touch.

While Apple seems to be addressing the Boomer audience with this ad, the way the company is doing it seems a bit condescending to me. This app is aimed at young people or young adults and wants them to give this device as a gift to their mothers. To my knowledge, Apple has never addressed the Baby Boomer woman directly with an ad that says here is the iPod Touch and this is why you might like it. Boomer women have buying power too! I'm sure this is just one opinion about this ad; you may have your own.

I haven't written much about the iPod Touch in this column, basically because I don't own one. I opted for the iPhone which includes a phone as well as all of the iPod Touch functions. Now my iPhone is becoming outdated and I find that some of the apps I want aren't available for it. In particular one app I’ll be reviewing next doesn’t work on the 3GS. I had to borrow a phone from a family member to see how it works! And I asked my son to take pictures of the app on his iPhone 4.  I'll upgrade when the new iPhone 5 comes out, which is now rumored to be in September. However, for many of you, an iPod Touch would be a less expensive alternative to an iPhone, while still giving you access to all the newer apps you can enjoy.

I know that when I have a computer problem, I turn to a younger member of my family to help me out. Computers, especially PCs, are still complicated beasts that sometimes need an expert's attention. Perhaps we Boomers are more used to being introduced to technology by young people. Yet Apple has made a product that is so simple and intuitive to use that most people can pick it up and use it without needing an instruction manual...even Baby Boomers. After all, Steve Jobs is a Baby Boomer. I think this company can try talking directly to us, before they talk to our children.

4 comments:

Skip Meetze said...

You make a very interesting observation. It reminds me that Apple has a history of catering to young adults and students from the beginning of the company.

Back in 1986, I was working as a contract employee at Xerox, and I attended a professional conference with a colleague. Dave was 15 years my junior, but except for my years of extra experience, we had identical credentials. We both had a Masters Degree and a year of working under contract at Xerox doing usability testing.

We were both interested in being hired direct and we signed up for job placement at the conference. Apple invited each of us for preliminary interviews that lasted about 10 minutes. I couldn’t help noticing that all the Apple employees doing the interviewing were Dave’s age and that he got invited for a second interview. I (with my graying hair) did not. As it happens, we were both hired direct by Xerox a year later.

I’m with you on the buying power of boomer women. Yet, I must admit that Mr. Jobs seems to be successful doing what he is doing. I’m still buying his products even though he is not focussing his ads at me either.

Skip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skip said...

You make a very interesting observation. It reminds me that Apple has a history of catering to young adults and students from the beginning of the company.

Back in 1986, I was working as a contract employee at Xerox, and I attended a professional conference with a colleague. Dave was 15 years my junior, but except for my years of extra experience, we had identical credentials. We both had a Masters Degree and a year of working under contract at Xerox doing usability testing.

We were both interested in being hired direct and we signed up for job placement at the conference. Apple invited each of us for preliminary interviews that lasted about 10 minutes. I couldn’t help noticing that all the Apple employees doing the interviewing were Dave’s age and that he got invited for a second interview. I (with my graying hair) did not. As it happens, we were both hired direct by Xerox a year later.

I’m with you on the buying power of boomer women. Yet, I must admit that Mr. Jobs seems to be successful doing what he is doing. I’m still buying his products even though he is not focussing his ads at me either.

Esther Surden said...

No doubt: Steve Jobs is MOST successful at what he is doing! Thank you for your comment, Skip. I wonder what apps Apple will decide should be pre-loaded for Boomer fathers on Father's Day.