I’m trying to remember the last time a big company event landed on prime time television the way Apple’s keynote at 8pm ET is trying to grab our attention tomorrow. The only company that I think has done this successfully recently is Victoria’s Secret with their fashion show. Although I suspect there’s some audience overlap between this and Apple Keynote, I also think Bella Hadid is a bigger draw than the new iMac.
But Apple is still going at it! He promised a keynote that would be broadcast on his website, on YouTube, and via Apple TV while things like Monday Night Football air on broadcast TV. The company is ready to take all the cultural cache its phones, Bluetooth speakers, and computers have gained and turn that fan base into a larger audience for advertising its products.
This big, prime-time Apple event seems like the natural next step for the company. No one else in technology has had as much success as Apple in getting people to treat its announcements like big events. Almost every major tech company has tried this. Sony had Taylor Swift deliver a keynote at CESAnd Samsung brought out a BTS member to applaud at the Galaxy Unpacked event. Google had the Slo-Mo guys. Intel had dancers and acrobats decorated with LEDs. But something about Apple’s event seems to resonate more with people.
And after the iPhone event, it seems pretty clear that the company is near the top of what it can do with an hour-long commercial in the middle of the day. One of the only ways to scale, attract more attention, and become a more consistent part of the conversation is to go prime time (or buy a social media company and run it for real). Take this meticulously produced product that’s catching the attention of techies and a few of their close friends and move it to a time of night where a lot more of those close friends can watch it.
Apple is probably doing this now, instead of using an iPhone, because the risks are lower. Fewer people are interested in the Mac event than the iPhone event. My brother calls me before the iPhone event to chat about phones. It doesn’t do that much for a Mac. Plus, An iPhone event could significantly impact Apple’s stock price. The MacBook Pro’s spec increase, while welcome, probably won’t move the needle significantly.
I can’t guarantee that fewer people will tune in to this event than last month’s iPhone event, but I expect Apple will be less interested in breaking viewing records (the company doesn’t announce this publicly). Instead, I’d risk Apple thinking about next year’s keywords, especially those centered around the Apple Vision Pro. Apple will need every tool at its disposal to get people interested in $3,500 AR and VR headsets. If there’s an opportunity for an evening keynote that gets more attention than a traditional morning keynote, Apple will want to exploit it when trying to convince people why augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the future of computing.
So why not run a test with a series of Mac updates that wouldn’t really benefit from a traditional keynote where hundreds of reporters and analysts travel to Cupertino to sit in a theater and watch a video before getting hands-on with the products?
But it has to be one bad show. Tim Cook will need to do more than just walk out of the AFC Richmond kit with a Ted Lasso mustache glued to his upper lip. Advertisements (at least the rumored ones) won’t be enough. I suspect that in addition to those rumored Mac updates, we’ll also see more skits like the one from the iPhone event starring Octavia Spencer as Mother Earth.
It probably won’t be as star-studded, since SAG-AFTRA is currently on strike and negotiating with Apple, among other studios. So there probably won’t be a series of actors in Apple’s most popular shows and movies. Which means Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon won’t be doing the equivalent of Apple SNL A digital short with Eddie Cue or Adam Scott and Patricia Arquette staring at each other across a table for a long period of time before Craig Federighi interrupts as the newest member of the group. to cut The program shows the iMac. But maybe Martin Scorsese will show how easy it is to do Access his new Letterboxd account On MacBook Pro. Or maybe half of the keyword will be shown in the video game Resident Evil Village (Naturally made on Mac).
Regardless, I still assume that Apple will go in a more creative direction, because along with the company’s desire to test keywords in new times, it is also increasingly showing its Hollywood ambitions. We heard rumors of her ambitions earlier this year when Bloomberg reported that the company was looking to spend nearly $1 billion on new movie programming this year. Now her films are like Moonflower Killers And Napoleon They are Oscar contenders (it received its first Oscar last year Coda). Earlier this week, Apple TV Plus saw its second price hike since its launch (along with a slew of other Apple services).
The company wants people to associate it with entertainment. It would be hard for its first prime-time event to ignore this entire aspect of its business just to show off some new M3 iMacs. Apple can’t give us a time-varying keyword. Well, she could…but that wouldn’t really fit with her ambitions.
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