Former Apple ad executive explains why the iPhone 5c failed

“Unapologetically plastic.” The words that Apple hoped would defer criticism about the construction of the iPhone 5c, crowned Apple’s budget model by the press and analysts, ultimately doomed it. That is the opinion of Ken Segall, the former Apple ad executive that helped craft the company’s iconic “think different” campaign. In Segall’s view, Apple’s attempt to turn what could be construed as a negative into a positive backfired.

Consumer reception to the iPhone 5c has been on the whole underwhelming to say the least. Now former Apple advertising executive Ken Segall has penned a short autopsyof the iPhone 5c on his blog and comes to the conclusion that Apple’s user base just has no use for cheap-looking plastic phones. “Clearly plastic was a big part of the iPhone 5c strategy,” Segall writes. “The launch ad was entitled Plastic Perfected. The launch video featured Jony Ive explaining that iPhone 5c was ‘unapologetically plastic.’ There was a strategic plan to head off the potential negative by boldly proclaiming it as a positive… Unfortunately for Apple, creativity can be a double-edged sword. The ‘unapologetically plastic’ line in the product video was so interesting and memorable, it got played back over and over in articles about the lackluster demand for iPhone 5c. Not exactly what Apple intended.”

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