In my review of the London 2012 opening ceremonies, I awarded the Apple Genius Bar spots a bronze medal in my own personal creativity competition. I thought they were just great. What do I know? Before the week was out, the campaign was pulled, a victim of kibitizing from the self-proclaimed technophiles who claimed they were dumb, patronizing and a blow to Apple’s reputation for ease of adoption.
Well, they’re not the target.
What the naysayers don’t realize is that not everyone is a DIYer. Some of us need to be shown and led through new things face-to-face. In the past two months, I’ve attended several workshops and one-to-one sessions, which gave me the confidence and know-how to go, well, further, faster, higher, in whatever I wanted to do (iMovie, Keynote, iPhoto). Instead of undermining Apple, the Genius Bar-istas’ approachability are a reminder to non-Apple users of just how truly easy it is to learn the system and if they were considering some of the competitors (the reinvented Microsoft, say), they may want to think again. And just for the record, the Genius Bar counters and classroom spaces are always packed, with Apple fans of all ages and skill levels.
This past week, I attended two workshops and one private tutorial in the DC metro area and I asked a non-statistically projectable sample of Genius Bar specialists what they thought of the spots and their cancellation. To a person, they said they loved the campaign (“it showed the service side of Apple”) and were disappointed that it had been pulled. I am, too. I didn’t think it was so easy for Apple to give in to a little negativity.