Take a look at these iPad billboards and what comes to mind?
You can see the contents of the screen. The Apple iPad marketing campaigns have zero confidentiality emphasis…ok, to be fair they include an important but subtle detail. Apple iPad ads ALWAYS involve just one person.
How many hands have you see on the iPad in their ads? How many sets of eyes are looking at the iPad? The implication is a single-user model.
The day I first was given an iPad is still vivid in my memory. A friend who is always buying the latest gadget and somehow acquiring devices before they hit the street handed me their shiny new Apple iPad. It looked light to me but the moment it hit my hand I couldn't believe how heavy and clunky it felt. I gave it back immediately and said "why so heavy?" She said "yeah, I know, my wrist hurts when I use it. I had to buy a stand".
The marketing team at Apple obviously wasn't immune to this because their next version of the iPad dropped 112g (1/4lb) and came with a marketing campaign that clearly emphasized the same point. The new imagery was very powerful. In one simple picture it said to me "sorry about that last one, we've fixed it now"
But seriously, there was the mysterious single-user view in the marketing again. I soon became curious enough that I started monitoring iPad marketing images. iPad 1 single-user might have been a rushed product delivery but iPad 2 was also being billed as single-user only. That did not match my experience with mobile devices.
In my experience people are forever handing me their iPad and saying "look at this" or "check out that". On one flight the executive next to me said "I just bought this because everyone is getting them but don't know what to do with it. Can you show me?" I showed him how to read a magazine, and play Angry Birds. It was a touching shared moment. Yet when I look at the Apple marketing I see just one pair of hands, one pair of eyes. Here's a sample of what I'm talking about:
I did not give up until I finally found two examples with more than one user.
One is a parent/child ad, but at least it's not single-user. It still puts the viewer in the single-user view yet it allows for the possibility of another set of eyes and hands.
The other ad appears to be a sales presentation. At first I was excited to find another multi-user ad. After thinking about it I realized it's still single-user. The second person is not participating. They are just a stand. It might even be an ad for an iPad-holding service. They tend to be kind of heavy…
If you can find any other examples of multi-user iPad marketing, please let me know. This study has become part of the research I have been asked to do on why people have such strong entitlement view when it comes to BYOD.