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Apple's Advertising: From Magical to Practical

Stocks in this article: AAPL MSFT

The good news is, Apple got the hint. Or at least it seems that way. The alluring TV spots that were once so convincing became stale -- so they switched it up. The company's new ads aren't about an untouchable product; they're about a common experience. Apple lifted its products off of the towering pedestal, away from that illuminating beam of light shining down on it, and placed it in the hands of its consumers. It's now less divine and more practical. The ads that were once self-indulgent became relatable. The product is shown as something that can actually fit in our hands. And that's what matters.

The shift in style was dramatic. The technology that was so critically hidden and draped in a smooth silver cover became essential. Take, for example, the app campaign. The spots show people -- ranging from a Kenyan community health nurse to a Paralympic bronze medalist -- using Apple products. They no longer function through magic. They are very real, and they pose real solutions to real problems. These products can come out from their protective cases and get in the action. Apple abandoned its aura of cleanliness and perfection and proved that it can hang in rugged, exposed environments. New ads like this de-commodify Apple products. They aren't something to look at. They're pushing us forward.

So maybe things aren't looking great for Apple lately. Along with an apparent mass doubt, they have lawsuits and competitors to worry about. Maybe the alarmists have a point. But the importance of these ads is the versatility they display. While companies like Microsoft (AAPL), with its Windows products, look at this as an opportunity to shamelessly mock Tim Cook's powerhouse, Apple is weaving through ways of transforming the company's image.

As for innovation, the Mac Pro looks like the Lamborghini of computers, and iOS 7 may revolutionize the way we look at phone screens. As an Apple enthusiast, it would be cool to see Apple rebound and get the last laugh. Maybe it's overly hopeful, but all we can do is be patient.

-- Written by David Webster in New York

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