Apple has reportedly begun promoting the new Mac Pro, of all products, in US movie theaters. John Gruber linked to the story, commenting on the apparent disparity between mass movie-going audiences and a pro-market computer:
Impressive marketing move for a product that is by all means truly “pro”.
One objective of the teaser is to remind everyday American movie-goers that Apple continues to innovate in computer hardware. The teaser emphasizes Apple’s ability to design beautiful hardware and to push the envelope of how a computer looks and feels. It serves to remind the public that Apple is both capable and cool.
But I expect the other goal with this spot is to appeal to American pride. Why promote an expensive, niche-market computer like the Mac Pro to everyday Joes and Janes across the country? Because on top of being an innovative, beautiful, envelope-pushing piece of hardware, it will be made right here in the USA.
I haven’t seen a verbatim copy of the trailer as shown in theaters. Apparently it ends with a headline indicating the Mac Pro will be available “Fall 2013.” I will be surprised if it doesn’t also subtly allude to its American manufacture. A small percentage of folks who see the ad will leave the theater committed to purchasing a Mac Pro this Fall. A far greater percentage will leave the theater convinced that the Chinese-manufactured iPhone or iPad they’re considering for Christmas is part of a great American tradition. And they’ll be right.
Update: Reports from folks on Twitter indicate that the movie-trailer features no such mention of the Mac Pro’s US assembly. That strikes me as a shame and a missed opportunity particularly considered the hyper-focused US market for the ads. Another compelling theory from Drew Pickard suggests that running ads for the Mac Pro in movie theaters is a good way to make sure every movie-making professional is aware of the computer, and will consider purchasing them for their production teams.