Mac309 Cult of Mac


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Presentation looks at the Apple brand over the last 2 and a half decades. These are the early mock-ups of the slides that my colleague Neil Perryman used in my Web Studies module. He gave me permission to upload them here. You can contact Neil here:

Published in: Technology, News & Politics

Mac309 Cult of Mac

  1. 1. iMac 309 The Cult of Mac Neil Perryman Apple user since 2002
  2. 2. Mac Users are also Mac Fans
  3. 3. iLoyalty Apple’s Faithful Appleholics Macheads Macaddicts Macolytes
  4. 4. “Apple is a strange drug that you can’t get enough of. They shouldn’t call it Mac. They should call it Crack!” Barry Adamson, The Guardian Quoted in Kahney (2002)
  5. 5. iCult
  6. 6. iSubculture Is it the branding? Is it the social relationships? Is it the the machine Itself? Common themes emerge: a sense of community; an“alternative”; a nonconformist brand that stands for liberty and creativity…
  7. 7. “If you see someone in an airport in London, or somewhere down in Peru or something, and you see an Apple tag on their bag, or an Apple T-shirt… you already have an instant friend. Most likely you share something very core to your being with this person, which is a life outlook, a special vision.” Chris Spinosa, Apple Employee #8
  8. 8. Mac users are extremely cool. It’s a lifestyle thing. Mac users tend to be liberal, free-thinking, counterculture. They dress well, they look good, and have discerning taste. Mac users have a sense of humour. They also help each other. Leander Kahney The Cult of Mac (2004) p7
  9. 9. iCounterculture From Satori to Silicon Valley by Theodore Roszak (1999) Rosnak argues that 4 major movements germinated in the 1960s counterculture: Political Protest Drugs Music The Personal Computer…
  10. 10. The home computer terminal became the centerpiece of a sort of electronic populism. Computerized networks and bulletin boards would keep the tribes in touch, exchanging the vital data that the power elite was denying them. Clever hackers would penetrate the classified databanks that guarded corporate secrets and the mysteries of state. Who would have predicted it? By way of IBM's video terminals, AT&T's phone lines, Pentagon space shots, and Westinghouse communications satellites, a worldwide, underground community of computer-literate rebels would arise, armed with information and ready to overthrow the technocratic centers of authority. Roszak (1999)
  11. 11. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak circa 1975
  12. 12. “There were people thinking that if they could master personal computing technology, they could fight back against the Machine. And so while there were lawyers who just wanted to use them to automate their offices, a lot of people in the users’ groups were were really using personal computers as a tool against The Man.” Chris Spinosa, Apple Employee #8
  13. 13.
  14. 14. “The IBM PC was created by people who drank alcohol. The Mac was created by people who smoked pot.” Anonymous Apple employee quoted in Kahney (2004) p33
  15. 15. It is no coincidence that the first shots of the computer revolution were fired from the same Bay Area that brought us Haight- Ashbury in the 1960s. The very conception of the almost hallucinatory realm we call cyberspace required the imaginative capabilities of people who were familiar with navigating hallucinatory headspace… Douglas Rushkoff
  16. 16. iStoner Apple iSwitch Campaign 2002
  17. 17. iLove Steve
  18. 18. Jobs is worshipped like a rock star Treated kindly as a visionary by the media… …odd, considering Apple’s market share...
  19. 19. Jobs as Christ: The “call” - Homebrew Club The “disciple” - Wozniak The “trails” - IBM & Microsoft The “apotheosis” - becoming a technology prophet The “persecution” - ousted from Apple, a decade in the wilderness The “resurrection” - the return to Apple The “glory” - the iMac, iPod & iPhone
  20. 20. “Jobs is widely viewed as an asshole” - Kahney (2004) p48 “He is a bundle of paradoxes. A manipulative cult-of-personality leader, he also brings egalitarian principles to his workplace. He is, it seems, a revolutionary control freak” - Scott Rosenburg (1999) cov_05bc3.html How does Steve Jobs change a lightbulb? He holds up the bulb and lets the universe revolve around him… v=jjSbNqqhjbE
  21. 21. The Cult of Woz The Master Hacker Interested in Electronics, not Empire Building Left industry to become volunteer teacher for over a decade
  22. 22. iDesign
  23. 23. iDesign
  24. 24. iMicroscoff To Mac users, Microsoft represents everything that Apple isn’t. Apple innovates; Microsoft copies. Apple puts out solid products; Microsoft puts out buggy ones. Apple represents creativity and individuality; Microsoft represents business and conformity. Apple is the scrappy underdog and Microsoft is the big, predatory monopoly. Kahney (2004) p.248
  25. 25. iHate I hate everything Apple - starting with rock star wanna-be Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck and jeans on his big, lavish stage, telling the world every three weeks or so how Apple's newest overpriced gizmo will change the world. And I hate the products themselves. Overpriced, overhyped and underwhelming. Oh, I forgot, they have such quot;elegantquot; design. They just quot;feel right.quot; All the stubble-cheeked, pony- tailed, black-clad hipsters in the design department get it, but us dweeby drones doing the real work are just out of touch. David Ramel, ComputerWorld, 2007
  26. 26. iParody
  27. 27. iBrooker I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.
  28. 28. Cue 10 years of nasal bleating from Mac-likers who profess to like Macs not because they are fashionable, but because quot;they are just betterquot;. Mac owners often sneer that kind of defence back at you when you mock their silly, posturing contraptions, because in doing so, you have inadvertently put your finger on the dark fear haunting their feeble, quivering soul - that in some sense, they are a superficial semi-person assembled from packaging; an infinitely sad, second-rate replicant who doesn't really know what they are doing here, but feels vaguely significant and creative each time they gaze at their sleek designer machine. And the more deftly constructed and wittily argued their defence, the more terrified and wounded they secretly are.
  29. 29. Ultimately the campaign's biggest flaw is that it perpetuates the notion that consumers somehow quot;define themselvesquot; with the technology they choose. If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that quot;says somethingquot; about your personality, don't bother. You don't have a personality. A mental illness, maybe - but not a personality.
  30. 30. iBrand quot;People talk about technology, but Apple was a marketing company. It was the marketing company of the decade.” Former CEO John Scully, 1997 cultofmac/2002/12/56677 quot;Without the brand, Apple would be dead. Absolutely. Completely. The brand is all they've got. The power of their branding is all that keeps them alive. It's got nothing to do with products.” Mark Gobe (2002)
  31. 31. iBrand Apple: It’s All About the Brand, Kahney (2002) Wired Magazine The company projects a humanistic corporate culture and a strong corporate ethic, characterized by volunteerism, support of good causes or involvement in the community. Nike blundered here. Apple, on the other hand, comes across as profoundly humanist. Its founding ethos was power to the people through technology, and it remains committed to computers in education. The company has a unique visual and verbal vocabulary, expressed in product design and advertising: it’s products and advertising are clearly recognizable.
  32. 32. iBrand Apple has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle; imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology. The Apple brand personality is also about simplicity and the removal of complexity from people's lives; people-driven product design; and about being a really humanistic company with a heartfelt connection with its customers.
  33. 33. iBrand
  34. 34. iBrand
  35. 35. iBrand
  36. 36. iBrand quot;It's like having a good friend. That’s what's interesting about this brand. Somewhere they have created this really humanistic, beyond-business relationship with users and created a cult-like relationship with their brand. It's a big tribe, everyone is one of them. You're part of the brand.quot; Mark Gobe in Apple: It’s All About the Brand (2002) Wired Magazine
  37. 37. iVillage Muniz Albert M. Jr. and Thomas C. O’Guinn (2001), Brand Community, Journal of Consumer Research, 27 (March), 412-32. Shared Consciousness - “common values” Rituals and Traditions - history, logos, blogs Moral Responsibility - help solve problems, share info
  38. 38. iMasochists The “punisher-me-harder” brigade (Khaney, 2004) “It’s a cult. It’s what kept the damn thing afloat through some of the most incredibly bad decisions I’ve ever seen anywhere.” Gil Amelio, Apple CEO 1994-1997
  39. 39. iPod, iPhone
  40. 40. iPod 170 million sold worldwide - 2008 The iPod is a genuine cultural phenomenon. (It is) fast becoming the signature music technology of its era, like the jukebox in the 50s and the Walkman in the 80s. The word “iPod” is already a brand eponym - like Kleenex or Xerox, it has come to signify all MP3 players. Khaney (2004), p240
  41. 41. iPhone
  42. 42. iFuture The Mac is 25 years old… quot;If you look backward in this business, you will be crushed. You have to look forward.” - Steve Jobs, January 2009 Jobs on a “leave of absence” due to ill health… Apple will no longer contribute to Macworld Expo…
  43. 43. iFilm
  44. 44. iRead Kahney, Leander (2004) The Cult of Mac. No Starch Press Frieberger, Paul and Swaine, Michael (1999) Fire in the Valley: the Making of the Personal Computer. McGraw Hill Linzmeyer, Owen (2004) Apple Confidential 2.0. No Starch Press Hertzfeld, Andy (2004) Revolution in the Valley: the Insanely Great Story of How the Mac was Made. O’Reilly Media. Malone, Michael (2000) Infinite Loop: How the World’s Most Insanely Great Computer Company Went Insane. Aurum Press.