Posted by: Rajiv Harjai | July 4, 2007

iphone PR campaign: A Brief Overview

So how did the iphone public relations campaign do? Quite well, (of course) the iphone till 27th June had over 11,000 articles; over 69 million hits on Google and above 300K Blog posts to start with.

One of the great things I liked about the iphone campaign was, taking the celebrities out of advertisements (besides the debut commercial) and concentrating on the phone. Good strategy, seems like Apple knows its target audience does not need to see Paris Hilton half naked to buy their merchandise.

The campaign started with debuting commercial at the Oscars featuring 31 Celebrities saying hello, but it was clips taken from movies and TV shows, I am sure that the Apple PR team didn’t pay the celebrities for that, moreover the copyrights might rest with the movie distributors.

Anyways, things can still go wrong, On NBC’s “Today” show, co-host Meredith Vieira ran into problems trying to get the iPhone to work. With a team of Apple representatives hovering off screen, Vieira was supposed to receive a call from co-host Matt Lauer in London. The iPhone – billed by Apple as the most user-friendly smart phone ever – displayed the incoming call, but she couldn’t figure out how to answer it.

A lesson to be learnt from here, if the show is live, tell the co-host the simplest of details even if it is telling her, ‘This is the answer button.’

Another thing was that Apple had a tight control on media access to the iphone, providing test units to just four journalists. I am sure it was more than that, but still it was controlled. This is not the first time I have seen this, having a control over media helps a lot especially if you have a good fan base following. In these situations you just need to maintain the image.

Lastly AT&T hired 2000 temporary workers to deal with the rush, but forgot to pay attention to their servers, which led to many customers being annoyed as the time taken to activate their account was simply too long.

The iphone will come out in Europe by the end of the year, and the rumour is that Vodaphone might be the official subscriber. I personally hope that it’s not Vodaphone, as it is just too expensive here in UK. I would rather prefer O2.


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