Apple iPhone 3G: 30-Minute Marketing

NEW YORK One of the most talked-about aspects of the Apple iPhone 3G is an approximately half-hour instructional video on Apple.com that lovingly details each new feature and function. But if you really think about it, it’s a 30-minute advertisement, said Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester Research.

“Even though it’s educational and you’re giving people an experience, it’s this really sort of deep immersion in Apple’s brand and approach and there’s huge value in that. How often do you get more than a minute of customers’ undivided attention?” Golvin asked.

The educational strategy, employing senior director of worldwide iPhone product marketing Bob Borchers as the instructor, is not the first time the company has done this, but it’s the longest tutorial to date for Apple. (Borchers has demonstrated his expertise in other how-to videos.) 

The biggest takeaway may be in how effective it is at building interaction and engagement with customers who are either preparing to buy or are thinking about it.

“Anytime you have advanced technology it’s important to help consumers understand how to use it and the benefits you get from it. And I think this will be an important tool moving forward,” said Josh Martin, senior analyst within the media and entertainment unit at The Yankee Group.

For other tech-product manufacturers who can successfully achieve the same level of interest in their products, Martin said “the degree of consistency” (in having Borchers be the how-to guy) might provide a level of comfort and familiarity, which can add to the strength of these videos as a marketing tool.

An Apple representative declined to comment on the marketing video.