In the end, whether this turns out to be part of a marketing plan or not,
On June 22, 2009 The New York Times published an article entitled “Apple’s Management Obsessed With Secrecy Grows Stronger.” In it writers Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance wrote, “Few companies, indeed, are more secretive than Apple, or as punitive to those who dare violate the company’s rules on keeping tight control over information. Employees have been fired for leaking news tidbits to outsiders, and the company has been known to spread disinformation about product plans to its own workers.”
As many of you may have heard: an Apple engineer by the name of Grey Powell lost an Apple iPhone 4G at a Bay area bar several weeks ago. According to Gizmodo, Powell is a 27-year-old software engineer that works for Apple. His response after losing a highly rumored, and as of yet unannounced and unofficial, Apple4G iPhone? “I underestimated how good German beer is.”
It is highly unlikely that this was a mistake.
Has anyone done research into Grey Powell to see if it’s a marketing gimmick crafted by Apple to rely on the viral nature of the internet?
How is it that Apple’s head of marketing, Phil Schiller, was not allowed to tell his wife or kids about the iPod hi-fi boombox during development but a 27 year-old, straight out of college, is one of the rare individuals allowed to take the iPhone 4G out into the wild? To a bar. Where he forgot it. Has anyone done research into Grey Powell to see if it’s a marketing gimmick crafted by Apple to rely on the viral nature of the internet and its fanbase to essentially market test the design and components?
I am confident that, in the coming weeks, detectives of the web will trace the situation back to its roots and call out shenanigans on Apple. The loyal fan base of Apple will label them as innovators of creative marketing.
In the end, whether this turns out to be part of a marketing plan or not, Apple wins. The internet is abuzz with speculation. The marketing dollars required to match this massive level of chatter would be mind boggling. But, in this case, it was completely free and it happened in a bar. Don’t be surprised when you see a press release announcing the product within a week.