The Next Big Thing: A Marxist Review on Apple

In a world intently devoted towards technological innovation, one flourishing company, Apple, has enjoyed success for decades. With a line of top quality products including iPods and iPhones, iMacs and Macbooks, Apple wants customers to believe owning their products will enhance your ability to experience the world around you. Those who own one of these devices are open to an empowered level. When you first reveal one of these products to others, an audience and its attention is immediately drawn, at just the touch of a button, life becomes much simpler and efficient, and competing companies stand no chance against these Apple devices. Ultimately, people who haven’t experienced Apple are subjected to the companies hegemony: those who have embraced Apple products maintain an empowered state.

Many Apple products, especially their first released iPods and iPhones have the ability to draw attention. Being one of the first iPod commercials unveiling their completely new music playing device, capable of storing up to 1,000 songs, this unique yet extremely intriguing advertisement instantly lures viewers. For such a plain commercial, the messages embedded in various ways are grasping. As a person’s hand moves the iPod, showing all angles, its “impossibly small” design and shiny back quickly catches the eyes attention and immediately makes one want it. This is exemplified when a second persons hand reaches in the screen, trying to get a hold of it. Most would prefer to be the one with the iPod, rather than the person trying to get it. In the background, an audio track is played with lyrics only saying “give me that”. This advertisement critically signifies ones socio-economic status and suggests that if you own an Apple iPod, the people around you will be drawn to you, making you the center of attention. To some, this attention will bring joy and an empowered level over those who don’t have one.

iPod Nano First Generation Commercial: 

Apple displays the new iPhone (4s) with Siri, a tool that essentially reduces inconveniences, therefore making daily conflicts avoidable. In one commercial, actor John Malkovich is shown in his house with his iPhone in hand. He asks Siri several questions, including what the weather is like, plans for the evening, and restaurants serving Linguica. In a matter of seconds, Siri immediately responds with all the answers he’s looking for; good weather through till Tuesday, no plans booked for the evening and five restaurants nearby with Linguica on their menu. Simple and efficient. With tasks that may require much more time and effort, the iPhone quickly resolves most concerns. With no more than one press of a button, ones life can subtly become much more efficient. However, those who don’t possess this device fall away from Apples hegemony.

iPhone 4s – John Malkovich Commercial: 

Plenty of Apples commercials hint that most competing companies, such as Microsoft, don’t stand a chance. In the classic Mac vs PC commercials, where Justin Long plays a Mac computer and John Hodgman plays a Microsoft PC, the flaws of a PC computer completely out-weigh those of a Mac, making Apples product the more desirable choice. In this specific commercial (shown below), Mac and PC are shown still “packaged” and about to be set up. The Mac emphasizes how simple it is to start up, suggesting multiple projects the owner may attempt almost immediately, including creating a home movie, designing a website and testing out the built-in camera. On the other hand, the PC has to download new drivers and erase pre-installed trial software. The audiences viewing this commercial are instantly drawn to the Mac and its impeccable features and those owning a PC are at a major disadvantage.  Rather than enduring the hassle of a PC, why not buy a Mac and avoid those complications.

Mac vs. PC – Out of the Box Commercial: 

Whether it be an iPod, iPhone or iMac, Apple products can lead to a better life, through ways of attention and efficiency. These tools are very prestigious. Many pass up on the opportunity to purchase from Apple due to the expensive prices. Therefore, those who do buy Apple devices can be considered to exemplify a materialistic and economic personality. As shown over the years, Apple is always introducing new technology and proving their ideology that newer is better. Its your choice if you want to be the one with or without the next big thing.

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2 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing: A Marxist Review on Apple

  1. I am not sure if your article is entirely sarcastic or not, but if that was what you were going for it wasn’t obvious. For example, when you state that “Apple products can lead to a better life…” it left me very confused. Were you intending that if I got an Apple product I would have a better life, or that the advertisers want me to believe this postulation? I think in your analysis you go into great details explaining the specifications of the products and what they do, even though those may not be the reason why people buy Apple products.

    When doing a rhetoric analysis you have to choose a pop culture text, whether that be a t.v show, film, book, or advertisement. However you tried to dissect a company, which is not a pop culture text. You did however do an analysis on three advertisements of Apple products, which would be a pop culture text. Possibly in a future analysis, trying picking one advertisement and explain why the commercial convinces its viewers that if they own their product they will be more elite and more empowered than those who do not own it.

    In the first advertisement you analyze, you do a great job of explaining why people would want the product and how the commercial entices the audience to buy the product through the music and the “I want that, give me that” attitude. Perhaps a more detailed analysis on this advertisement would have been better, I feel like the three, as a whole, were too condensed and too broad of an explanation.

    Even though we have not covered this analysis yet, your analysis seems to be very media-centered, and how the media is convincing us to buy certain products based on certain qualities about it. For example, in the commercial with John Malkovich, I may have explained that due to his high status, and him being a relatively known actor, it makes people want to buy the products because it may make them feel worthy enough to own one. The fact that he is in what seems like a mansion reinforces that behaviour, as well as the fact that he is in a business suit and doing seemingly “normal businesslike activities”. All of these things give off the impression that having all of those materialistic possessions is normal, including owning the latest IPhone, which we should want to own if we want to be successful, high class and normal.

    • I was intending that Apple advertisers, through a series of different advertisements, want us to BELIEVE their products will lead to a “better life”, just like a prestigious car company would, etc.

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