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The new iPhone 4 has debuted to the usual fanfare Apple’s hot new high tech products receive from the press and consumers around the globe.

What’s new about the iPhone 4? It offers a slimmer design. High-resolution screen. HD video-recording/editing. 5 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom and LED flash. Bing and Google search capability. Folders for a mind-boggling 225,000 apps. And more.

But why talk about a laundry list of features in an ad campaign when consumers can be engaged on an emotional level? Don’t we already expect updated Apple products to offer sophisticated new features? Do we want to know what they are? Sure we do. But first things first.

What’s the most important aspect of purchasing the iPhone? Staying connected with family, friends, business associates and clients. And what’s more important than taking a few moments from our frenetic lives to reconnect with those who matter most to us?

In view of this, filmmaker Sam Mendes’ new “Face Time” iPhone 4 ad spot is simply brilliant.
• What’s more enjoyable to dads than being able to watch video of their kids and share a two-way experience with his family when out of town on business?
• What’s better than out-of-town grandparents being able to share a granddaughter’s graduation happiness?
• What’s more poignant than a serviceman overseas sharing his wife’s ultrasound?
• What’s more fun than a friend sharing her “found the perfect pair of boots” joy with another friend?
• What’s more touching than a loving couple signing to each other via the Face Time capability of the new iPhone?

The emotive aspects of the spot grab our attention immediately and rivet us. They touch the heart. They evince a very human response. The implication is  these are life’s everyday moments that couldn’t be shared when miles separate people—without Face Time.

Does Apple have a winner here? And what wins more: the product or the message? You decide. I’d love to have your insights on this question.

Continue reading "Features or Feelings: What's Selling the iPhone 4?" ... Read the full article

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Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (, a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.