Apple vs. Google ads: What are they selling?

Apple vs. Google ads: What are they selling?

Apple's latest ad wants you to buy a $500+ tablet computer that runs App Store apps. Apple wants to sell you shiny things to make money.

Google's latest ad wants you to store personal details about your child's life, from birth, on their servers. Google wants your data so they can sell it (aggregated and anonymized, of course) to others to make money.

Taken in that context, Apple's ad might be obnoxious and highly commercial, but Google's is downright creepy.

That's not an Apple fanboy perspective, that's a privacy fanboy perspective. And it's not iPhone vs. Android either. iPhone users use tons of Google services, including Gmail, Maps, and Search, and YouTube built in, and Voice, Latitude, etc. available via apps. Given over a 100 million iOS devices, we're a huge part of Google's user base, and a valuable part. And for the record, I haven't liked some of Apple's recent ads either.

But I do think about how each company makes money and what they have to sell to make that money. Apple makes almost all their money selling hardware products -- selling to you. Google makes almost all their money selling advertising -- selling you. (Or in this case, your child. Seriously.)

I'm not telling anyone to stop using Google, far from it. I'm a huge Google user myself. What I'm saying is this is not really a good ad.

(Note: As Apple ramps up iAds, this'll be a concern for iOS users as well.)

Both videos after the break.

UPDATE: Again, I'm a huge user of Google services -- this is not intended to scare anyone but simply to inform users, so users can make better informed decisions. Convenience and security are always at odds, and choosing the convenience of free cloud services like Google's sacrifices the security of your personal information. I currently find that an acceptable compromise. If you don't have a problem with it either, than good for you. Enjoy. As long as we all know the deal.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple vs. Google ads: What are they selling?


They're advertising their services. Google is a service company. Email, video, maps, pictures; at the nexus of all of these services is the experience.

Google provides services, but they make the money to provide those services by advertising.

I believe you have that backwards. Google sells advertising, and creates services so it has somewhere to display that advertising.

As Chris says - you have that backwards.
Google sells advertising. Approximately 96% of it's revenue is from advertising, everything it does including all the things that 'look' attractive and free are only there to keep you locked into their environment so they can steal your personal information to sell to the highest bidder. So they keep their 96% revenue obscene profits rolling along.

they are advertising Chrome, sorta .. but really they are advertising the Google suite of web services.
which is interesting, since lately Apple has been pushing the family sharing angle a bit too, mostly through the FaceTime driven ads and "iPad as family computer" type ads.
of course, people use GMail far, far more than they use FaceTime, and use it for far more "human" personal exchanges. Ditto the other Google sharing services.
can't say i found this creepy at all. Apple has most of the same services, it's just that they aren't as widely or effectively used. Apple would LOVE to air that Google ad for themselves, if was popular/good enough so that it would be worth it to.

MobileMe/Apple services are currently paid. That might change, but right now Apple doesn't aggregate and monetize off user data in their online services.

Google is an advertising company. they use anonymized user data to target ads on behalf of their clients.
Apple is very close to that by way of iAds. not quite, but close.
the reason why people use the google stuff for more human exchanges is in part because the services are free, and thus widely used and widely supported.
basically, 'nobody' cares .. in much the same way that 'nobody' cares about Apple's app store policies or needlessly logging location tracking data on the phones for years.

I think you need to give Google some credit. People use their services not necessarily because they're free but because they're demonstratively better than paid alternatives. That counts for a lot.

I use gmail only because it is free. This is the problem with Google brand in general. Google = free as far as consumers are concerned.

It's only because I'm a stickler for details, and 99% of the "facts" surrounding "Location Gate" are blatantly false, that I have to point this out..
The location storing database has NOT existed for years. It came around after the release of, and only exists in, the iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone 4. That's it.
And I'm mostly on your side of the argument. Unless you're a terrorist or criminal mastermind, who cares if random anonymous data is extracted from your use of the internet and internet enabled devices? There has been one argument that's started to sway my opinion though, and it's the argument regarding precedent. You know how it goes.. remember: If you give an inch, they'll take a mile? If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk? I personally don't care if my habits are extracted, studied, and sold, especially if it means better products in the future, but I also like the idea of people being incredibly defensive and paranoid about it.

Oh and the second comment by "Alex" is not from the same guy who left the first comment by "Alex". I'll be using an "R" after my name from now on :)
Kind of interesting that the article I read before this one was about the top baby names chosen for the last year, and "Alexander" was number 6. I guess Alex really is a common name.

I still fail to see the "creepy" aspect of this Rene.
Lets face it. You, and many other people, make this "they take our personal data (anonymized of course) and sell it. ahhhhhhh!!!" bit too far.
In reality, NOBODY cares about your petty personal data as it relates to you. Then to add to this, everything you do with's YOUR option. You don't have to give personal information. Hell, I can sign up for a Gmail account under the name Habooboo Gillery! So what is the major issue? It's been years now, people know what they are signing into. We're not the low level tech users that some folks at Apple coughJobscough would believe us to be.

apologists like you scare me ...
a large database of all the mundane things millions of people do each day goes a long way to 'pigeonhole' populations and could be used to help control masses (polls/ studies, etc have been used for this tin the past)- think Gerbils scientifically designed mind-control/ propaganda on steroids
and again, its not whats being done today that is truly scary, it is where it could head (or is headed) that people need to look at.

Point still is YOU that opts to use such services.
Me, I honestly don't care. We as a country are built on double standards and hypocrisy, so this pales in comparison to what the country already is. So eh...that "apologist" crap is a nice counter, but doesn't quite work. I've seen what this country has to offer, and it can get worse, but this right here is not the the worst it can get.
If you haven't noticed, the country already has most people what more can they do?
We cheer the death of the "bad guy" while berating other countries to do the same. And the majority of this country sees nothing wrong with it.
It's silly stuff like this that causes people to overlook the real problems with society today.
I'm no "apologist" because I choose to look past something I choose to use and instead focus on the things that seem to actually be out of my control at the current moment....

@mrgerbik & Rene( MG Siegler jr.)
and its chicken littles like you and rene that scare me. ever drive a car? youve been tracked. made a telephone call? guess what, theres records of those too. have a credit card? you've been profiled and all that data is used to target you to get you to spend more. do you write for a blog? google tracks that too...

With Apple products, your data is private. It's mostly stored locally on a secure Unix system, and what is stored on servers is not subject to information gathering by Apple so they can sell ads.
The easiest example is Gmail versus MobileMe Mail. Gmail is $0 per month, but Google reads your mail and feeds you targeted ads based on it. MobileMe Mail is part of a suite of services that cost about $8.25 per month, but nobody reads your mail and there are no ads.
It's a simple lesson in knowing who is the customer, With Apple, it is consumers, and with Google, it is advertisers.
So if you are creating a diary of your young child's life in Gmail, yes it is good to be aware that Google is not just storing it, they are reading it. If you want it to be just between you and her, there are other solutions.
And recently, Google was sanctioned for collecting Social Security Numbers from kids who entered their Google Doodles contest, so don't think they aren't interested in knowing your kid's whole life story. The more uniquely they can identify you, the more valuable you are to their advertisers.

They're advertising the Google brand. Trust us, trust your kids with us, we won't accidentally send notifications to your abusive ex-spouse, etc.

What are they marketing? I think it is "trust" and "stability". They are saying: See? Five years ago when your child was born, you could have started emailing them to a gmail account (as opposed to, say, an msn or yahoo mail or aol account) all your most private hopes and dreams and memories for them, and they would all still be here. Thirteen years from now, when you want to hand those memories over to your newly-minted adult as a virtual box of letters, we'll still be there. Trust us.
At least, that's as much as I can get out of it.
I, too, find the commercial a strange mixture of cloying, creepy, impractical, and square-peg-round-holeism (aka "if all you have is a hammer"-ism). Missed on all cylinders for me: too deliberately aiming for heart strings to seem genuine, too obviously NOT the way I would ever want to leave a "memory box" for my children, too adamant about using the Google product that might kinda sorta be used that way, too terrifyingly trusting of online cloud services too soon after everything trusted to Sony has been strung up on a flagpole not to mention places like Gawker etc.
Maybe I'm just not Google's audience here. But I can't see anyone who would be affected by that commercial actually being in the technological position to put it to use. And if such exist, I fear for the future of the human race.

Rene you know I'm your biggest fan and I agree with 99.99% of what you have to say. I get the underlining point of your argument and I even agree that both google and apple can equally be evil.
But when I watched that, I thought it was a very sweet, endearing and effective marketing of google products. I felt emotionally lifted and thought about how wonderful that child would feel one day going through all of the YouTube videos and picasa albums that mom and dad made for her.
I don't know, I think sometimes, we gotta take things for face value and not think of the worst case scenario.
Having said that...Google is evil. Apple is evil. Corporate America is evil. :)

Agreed, and I think that saying that Google is selling you or your child is not only gross, but highly misleading. Google is selling a moment of your attention span, not "you" and specially not your child.
Apple sells as much "you and your child" on iAd, and I personally think that iAd is ok, so really, that is a very fanboysh take of the Google add.

Fortunately, we don't have to "think". Both Apple and Google are public companies that disclose where their revenues and profits come from. How is Google making their money? What are they advertising here that makes them money? (Apple is advertising the iPad, which you give them money to buy.)

Google is advertising their range of online products, which will have all kinds of adds, which can be translated into some percentages of sales increase to its advertisers. I don´t see a problem there, and I don´t see this as selling me.
Google wants us to use their products as much as possible, because it strengthens their selling pitch to their advertisers. In return they provide useful services for free. It´s true that they are creating this need, but that´s the whole point of marketing.

so that they can serve people targeted advertising.
"follow the money" indeed. this isn't a political conspiracy techo-thriller. Google serves ads to people based on anonymized personal information.
in turn, they [and other web service companies] have created tools the allow for real, legitimate and unprecedented human interaction.
there are really important questions surrounding privacy embedded in all this, but it isn't some mysterious conspiracy.

I see your point Rene, but I don´t see much difference between what Google does and what you do here. You guys write interesting stuff, and we all come to read it, every day, many times a day by the way.
All this translates into page views that you can present to your advertisers. I have clicked on some of your adds because they are pertinent, and I think this is all ok. Free content in exchange of a few clicks and page views.

I totally agree. Not to mention I think that the video I saw is absolutely sweet. It made me want to do something similar :)

Rene, just look at the 2nd highest rated comment on that Chrome video. You're not the only one who thinks this is creepy.
If you have a Google account, every email you send, every conversation you have on Gtalk, every RSS feed you add, every search you make, every Google voice call or text you make goes into a keyword database for your account, and it builds a psych profile of you. Someday, that information will be used against a person when they look for a job, apply for a school, or merely are the subject of a private investigation.
Nobody should be using all that stuff. Nobody should have a Google account, unless you need a free email to use as a spam decoy.
Facebook is the same thing, btw. People say they have nothing to hide, but someday, they won't be able to hide at all.

"someday, they won’t be able to hide at all."
Someday. Ha! That someday happened years ago. Deal with it or move to a cave.

Hey Mr Gaius, may I call you Mr Gaius?
Look at what you just did here by writing one comment.
You first entered your email address. tracked
That email address has an origin tracked
That origin has an IP address tracked
That IP address has a location tracked
Now you could say "well, I use public computers! Smart me to avoid being noticed because everyone is out to use my information. Ooooh"
Well that public place most likely has cameras tracked
That public place also has eye witnesses tracked
So on and so forth.
Tell me exactly...why would Google care about your insignificant life? Hmm? And I don't mean that in a personal attack...becasue to them, my life is insignificant also.
There is no reason for them to sit there and personally collect data on Mr Gaius or Mr Davey.

"Tell me exactly…why would Google care about your insignificant life? Hmm?"
Well, I'm not personally so concerned about what Google wants with my insignificant life. I'm more concerned with the hassle, spam, and potential identity theft that WILL happen when Google and/or my account get hacked and "my insignificant life" becomes just another data point in the "we need one out of 10,000 of these users to accidentally click this button" spam mills.
Is Google evil? Most certainly so. But, that's less a concern to me than the answer to "Is Google impenetrably secure?"

All in all, this fear mongering of Google is a blatant attack against them Rene, no matter how you put.
How in Sam hill is you, yourself, making a YouTube video, which you so graciously decided to put on the internet, them "selling" your child? =\
First off...YOU chose to put your child on the web. So therefore Google did nothing. And um..putting your face on a site that is seen by millions a day is a little bit more creepy than a company taking som random data to improve services and ads so it's more accurate and personalized to show ads you would potentially be interested in.
So why are you trying to put a scare on Google. You have all the option in the world NOT to give data. If you choose to give data, you know what's going on which, as many people have said, is a fine exchange. I can allow Google to take random voice data to improve voice search. Take random image search from Goggles in order to improve image searching. Send in statistics while I use Chrome to make their browser even better. And in the end, I get improved products to use...for free I might add.
Apple is, and will be, doing the same thing. They use information form their consumers to improve their products. When iAds gets big (if it does) they'll be using your information to throw ads your way. Only pay for that. So I guess what you're saying is...if you pay to have your data collected, it's okay. If it's free...there's something wrong?
Only way I see this data mining to be even a minor issue is if the data you give is used to track you down from some crime...
But then're a criminal. You lost all rights, according to our government here in America, once you decided to do the crime. So if we don't care that an "evil man" by our definition was shot unarmed, why should we care that another "evil man/woman's" data is used to catch them in a crime.
So then that leaves no real issue with data collection that I can see..

(A) Indeed it is creepy to upload photos/videos of your child to a website seen by millions each day. But Google are the ones running soppy advertisements to make the case for doing so. Not exactly an innocent party.
(B) Did you seriously just liken all criminals to Osama bin Laden? Bin Laden wasn't a mere "criminal", he was a military target. Criminals do have rights, and even if they didn't, what if you are wrongly suspected of criminal activity?

The fact of the matter is that all of this information is out there if the wrong person (or government, anyone) gets a hold of it, they can use it for their purposes - purposes which would most likely not be for the general public's good. However, don't see any good way around it in this day and age and still do anything on the internet..

You nailed a good point right there.
"In this day and age..."
Everything you do has a way to track you. Whether it's using your debit/credit card to make a purchase, logging on a computer, paying your bills...someone, somewhere, can track you.
Unless you live a John Connor type life, there's no way to not have your personal information somewhere. People take this too the heart a little too much in my eyes. If you don't want your info out there, don't use technology. But I bet you you'll be turning right back around to use it in a short time.

OMG! If Apple had a photo sharing site, worthy online email, and a map service they would absolutely put a commercial together advertising those things.
Google wants people coming to those services to display ads, just as mentioned above.
I respect most of your negativity towards all things not Apple [even when I disagree] but this is downright a ridiculous thought. What a terrible leap here Rene.

No, because when Apple supplies such targeted advertising they will call it "Genius" recommendations, just like they do on the iTunes store and iPod app, at which point it will officially be neither creepy nor evil.

Good write up and always a very relevant topic. I use google a LOT and I use MobileMe. I'd like to switch to all MobileMe but I've had Gamil since 2004 and have everything with Google. Of course, that's what they're counting on.

Please do rant about privacy issues. Google's practices raise plenty of concerns (as do Apple's). But this was a bad advertisement? Give me a break. They were advertising their services and they f-in nailed it.
Call their services and practices creepy if you want. But this ad, as an advertisement, wasn't creepy in the least.

Your update really didn't say anything but reinforce your scare for it. =\
What isn't unsafe in this world? Do you really feel that if you use Apple services over Google services that somehow you won't have your personal information targeted?
The fact that iTunes has one of the largest credit card databases in the world makes me a bit more cautious than Google knowing my last name...which is really common knowledge to anyone that looks at my Facebook or drivers license.
How about along with this message and these commercials you also show the video of the safety measures taken in each and every Google data center? Or how about where Google states that no data can be specifically traced to you, yourself, when they sell it?
It's like me picking up your candy bar wrapper and taking from the fact that one person out of the 28 comments like that particular type of candy bar. I don't know it's you, but the info I sell will let me put an ad for that specific type of candy bar that you would want to click.
I still haven't been hipped to what the REAL issue is here? I don't wanna here "what ifs" and future theories. I want to hear what the actual, logical, true threat is. And I've yet to hear anything substantial, only the "Google will become evil(er) and sell everyone's information to the highest bidder to take over the world" scenario.

+1 for the update not helping. lol. Like I told him on Twitter, it is definitely tin foil hat material.
Take it for what it is worth...great advertising.

Good lord, way to selectively read nefarious subtext into one company but not the other. Fair enough, Google's marketing model involves data aggregation.I agree with other comments that that is nowhere near as creepy as you make out, and that profiling and tracking is ubiquitous. I had a friend who used to get family members to sign up for his mobile phones for him to avoid such tracking - would you go that far in your crusade to avoid 'creepy' data aggregation.
But to my point... Saying 'Apple wants to sell you shiny things to make money' is deliberately avoiding the subtext of Apple's business model. If I were applying the same logic to Apple, I should say something along the lines of 'Apple wants to sell you shiny things which are locked down to an ecosystem entirely controlled by Apple, thus making money not only off the shiny thing but on 30% of all media you consume on the shiny thing and preventing you from accessing things they deem unacceptable on your shiny thing'. That's an equivalent assignment of subtext. And do you honestly believe that Apple does not profile the app purchases, in-app media purchases, iTunes purchases that you make with a view to further increasing their ecosystem business?
If you don't want your data tracked, I suggest to you that your only recourse is to not enter your data into ANY online service, INCLUDING iTunes and TIPB. And if you don't want companies making money off your custom, probably best stop buying things... Personally I'm prepared to provide a little of my information to both Google and Apple, and continue consuming, rather than cut myself off from the world and try subsistence farming, which is the end-point of following the argument in this piece to it's conclusion.
At the end of the day

Renee, Google doen't sell your data. They make money by showing you ads, like, you know, your own website. Would you say that sells my data to make money, and is creepy? Furthermore, you know who handles your personnal data to target ads on Google services? Google. Who does on TiPb? I don't know, but certainly not TiPb. So basically I leak more personnal data to 3rd parties by browsing your site than by using GMail. (I'm ok with that by the way)

Thank you! I was looking to make the same point. Rene should correct the statement in his article that Google "sells" your info and your children's info in order to make money. That's just irresponsible and I hope he has the decency to correct it in his editorial.
It would make the point he's wanting to make of it being creepy...except that it's totally untrue! As you point out, Google uses anonymized user data to target ads on behalf of their clients. Even the anonymous statictical data does not leave Google -- it is not sold -- much less personal info about your kids! Jeez!
Google makes money by targeting ads in a more notably more relavent way, and by allowing ourselves to be targeted by ads that are more relevant to us, we get very valuable free services. I'm okay with that tradeoff and consider my personal infomation as safe with Google as any other such service, especially ones that are free. That said, there are things I wouldn't put out there on any such site/service. I thought that Google ad was quite beautiful and a really cool idea!

Renee trying to be like Daniel Eran Dilger and failing
This site was interesting time ago, but now is only a site for Renee hatred and rants.

Hmm, Google makes a touch warming ad and Google gets flamed for it. Apple makes touch warming ad and people have tears over it. I'm feeling sick...

A little fear mongering on Rene's half? Saying "Disclaimer: I use Google, but.." Is like saying, "Hey guys. I'm not a racist, but..." and then proceeding to make a racist comment. Anyway, my $0.02...Google nailed it in this ad. Creepy? No.
As ridiculous as Rene's point is, this post does remind me of a quote I saw somewhere:
"If you are not paying for it, you are not the customer. You are the product being sold."

Hey guys. I'm not racist, but those dang Martians are takin' out jorbs!
THe thing with Google is that it's really more of a point of view. We're paying for Google's services, we're just not paying them in money. It's more like bartering, we're giving them something they can use and we get something we can use in return. Rene seems to think Google sees us as the product but really Google sees us as a customer as much as they see their advertisers as a customer. The difference is that we have the option of not using money to "pay" for Google's services.

Good timing Rene. Apple just got into trouble themselves for tracking people and indefinitely storing the location data. So time to throw few stones towards Google, take attention off Apple.
Nice try

I saw that Google commercial for the first time last night. My first thought was that they were trying to have an Apple-esque ad. I did not think of it as being creepy at all. Just not original.

Sensitive much? Whoa-is-me! lol
It isn't about criticizing Google. You do that on other posts and don't get flamed.
If the ad had any agreeable "creepyness", no flame would occur. It is just so far of a reach it is ridiculous. When you get flamed. Check the track record of comments where you do such a thing [hint: read "Unbaked" comments again].
Remove the conspiracy theory and this is a good post. What are they selling? Good convo there. To leap to "they can haz your data and sell it" is just wild.
Ok...I said I was done on Twitter...I am now.

John - like on Twitter, you have yet to state a single factual thing I have wrong in the post. Google's ad encourages people to enter personal information about their child, from birth, into Google. Google makes 92% of their money from advertising. As part of their advertising, they store and scan user information. Taken together, that is absolutely creepy.
It would be creepy if Apple did it. It would be creepy if Microsoft did it.
How is it not creepy, aside from people liking Google and the ad hitting the "aw, cute!" button so hard?

This is your whole argument:
"Google’s latest ad wants you to store personal details about your child’s life, from birth, on their servers. Google wants your data so they can sell it (aggregated and anonymized, of course) to others to make money."
Why must I disprove something not proven? By your logic, Google wants to sell the "personal details about your child's life, from birth" [the "data"]. That's ridiculous.
Google wants to serve you ads. Simple. Do they scan the page and serve ads based on what is on the page? Yep. Are they harvesting our brains and personal details? Nope.
You're proving yourself wrong.
If it is "(aggregated and anonymized, of course)" then they are not selling my personal details.
Simple logic dude and by far the biggest leap I've seen you make at all. In this case, you jumped right off the cliff.
Just read Andy Buckram's comment below. You're harvesting all of our names/info to serve us ads. No different than Google.
Creepy ole TiPB! :-/

I thought the video was in good taste, but for one snarky point. Over the course of that girl's life, from birth to 5 years old, the UI for the tools never once changed.
Now THAT sounds like Google! :-P

Yeah, after watching that Google ad I had the same thoughts I had after watching a BASF commercial.... what the hell am I supposed to buy?

I couldn't identify which App is running at 0:13 in the iPad 2 video but the Earth rotation is wrong.

Oh no, in some google database (within the many PB of data) its stored that I searched for a ribeye recipe! And now they know that I might eat ribeye! My life is done for!

Fantastic fearmongering there. Keep that tin hat on, but your reaction to this is so far outside the mainstream, that you may as well be in the Free Software Foundation.
Sophie is a great advert, it makes the web human, it tells us that "the web is what we make of it" and implores us to do it, to allow it to enrich our lives.
And it's a choice that many of us have made, you claim that the the ad is creepy (it's more weepy - it really is that good) and yet you subscribe to all those Google services. And it's a choice you've made as well, fully knowing the consequences of that decision, and yet you write a post filled with hypocritical hand wringing.
Your post may have wrung true had you not been so defensive (oh look, I criticise Apple too from time to time) and had you not proclaimed to be a privacy fanboy and yet subscribe to all those Google services.
Those FSF neckbeards? At least they believe in what they write.

With so many trackers running on it's webpages (i.e. CollectiveMedia, Quantcast, ComscoreBeacon, CrowdScience, etc.), is one to talk about turning the user into the product.
I feel so violated.

It wouldn't be TIPB without a weekly anti-Google/anti-Android rant from Rene' that can be posted on the Smartphone Experts round-up. :-/

Google makes great stuff, but it is just unpolished. Apple polishes it. Chrome is still the best browser ever even if gmail isn't great.

"Obnoxious" -- ? If that sets off your feelers, you are too delicate for this world...
Obnoxious is what you find at a sports bar, or at a club with liquored-up 20-somethings who are still trying to work out if they're going to get laid that night after closing time (the guys try to pick fights, the chicks screech or throw drama tantrums...) That's obnoxious.
But an Apple ad? Really? Too delicate.

Rene, I am thrilled you had the gusto to write this because I've been preaching this for a long time - to everyone I know.
Google DOES want to collect personal data and in this ad, it is shamelessly saying that it is both right, and you should do it, using thier servers.
I am always weary of putting personal info on the internet, (That's why I used my gmail spam account as my mail link) but one day it's just going to be so frequent, we won't be able to stop it - everything you do will be logged, categorised, stored and ultimately, used against you.
I do't want that future in my lifetime - but Google is speeding this process up.
With Apple, yes it can be seen as pretentious at times. But I'd rather be talked down to by a company trying to sell me futuristic, market-leading products than be completely SOLD to god-knows-who so the adverts that clutter my internet experience are slightly more personal.

As opposed to sending your music track list to someone else and have them organize it for you? Or getting knocked with a "If you like this music, try out these" every time you buy a single off of itunes (Ping)? Please, how do you think itunes creates those "Top 10" lists and so forth? Apple would do the same thing if MobileMe was even close to being as relevant as the services Google listed off in their commercial.

Leave it to Apple fans to think this sweet commercial is "creepy". Reminds me of how the media blew apart that one advertisement where a mother was having fun with her son via painting his nails, saying she was traumatizing him with gasp neon pink! This commercial was basically saying "hey, the internet does not have to scary. It can be yours and it can be a document of your life". Google is advertising what many Apple bloggers have proudly proclaimed of their messiah company, AN EXPERIENCE.
Honestly, I'm surprised this commercial overshadowed their other one, which I think was both more touching and important:

This reminds me of the old 1970s ads for Playboy aimed at advertisers: "His lust is for life." With all the talk about Playboy selling women, here they were selling men. (Granted, my favorite Playboy ad was "Do you get a little behind in your reading." which was aimed at potential readers.)

Regardless of what side of this issue you are on, it is senseless to argue that there is no cause for concern because of the ubiquity of the problem. It is equally senseless to argue a point of taste and perception like whether this ad is "creepy." --and I wonder if some of you see how far you are projecting yourselves when you say "users make a choice, they aren't naive."
To iDave: You've said a lot in this discussion and you've been generally polite while using understandable sentences--but if you think that you have made cogent arguments you need to take a dose of remedial logic. I say that not as an attack (I neither know you nor have an opinion on this discussion), but as advice. Your repetitious assertions and specious comparisons do not rise to the level of argument--they do not even merit a response from the opposition. Give it some thought. (...and you may want to look up "apologist" before you comment further...)

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I think google's ad was okay bit cheesy LOL but still a good advert and Apple's advert is obviously showing to people that the iPad is really good but they advertise it in a clever way that's why people think the iPad is so cool even though it has a high price people still love it because it's so easy to use and it's really fun sometimes

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