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How Apple is getting aggressive toward customers

Technically Incorrect: As it hires a new VP of marketing, Apple is being ever more aggressive in its selling practices.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


I'm sorry, Taylor. The answer's still no.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I went to the Apple store on Lincoln Road in Miami on Saturday and I couldn't shake Taylor Swift.

Please, it's nothing personal.

I think she's a very fine businesswoman and I understand she's an excellent performer.

But every time I peered toward an iPad Pro, a MacBook Air or, it seemed, every screen in the store, there was Taylor saying hullo.

Please, Taylor. This isn't going to work.

Just last week, you see, Swift agreed to a deal with Apple Music to exclusively relay a concert video on Sunday. So here was Apple peddling it without mercy.

There were videos of Swift. There provocative images. It was all quite odd.

I seem to remember Apple stores as being solely about the products. With almost museum-like reverence, the machines were positioned just so, with nothing standing between you and them. This was an Apple principle.

Suddenly, it felt like I'd walked into a very classy karaoke lounge.

An Apple spokeswoman told me that it's pretty common that screen savers promote products. Yet this seemed a little more in one's face than normal.

It struck me, too, that this wasn't the first time even in the last week that Apple's marketing had become a touch aggressive.

Just a few days ago, those who owned an iPhone 5S or older began to complain. They were perturbed that when they opened the app store they were confronted with, gasp, a pop-up that pushed the iPhone 6S upon them.

Noted Apple commentator John Gruber described these ads as "uncouth."

They might signal merely the youth of uncouth.

Apple's marketing lost its purity some time ago. Market conditions have changed. Competition has become more painful and is evident in more areas of the company's business.

The more consumers use ad blockers -- and some estimates suggest ad blocking is becoming very popular -- the more companies have to find different ways and different places to interrupt (I mean impress, of course) consumers. The easiest channels to control are the ones you own.

Apple's advertising hasn't bathed in the memorable in the recent past. The lack of sure-footed focus in Apple's work has perhaps contributed to its hiring this week of Tor Myhren as its new vice president of marketing communications.

Myhren is a highly respected ad creative who's been responsible for excellent campaigns such as the ETrade babies. There again, he's also been responsible for the several Rob Lowes who advertised Direct TV.

To purists, it must be slightly surprising, even depressing that Apple might market its wares in less subtle, less melodious ways.

But pure Apple disappeared some time ago. This is a different brand in a different world. In its way, it's decided to think different.

I'm sorry, Taylor. You've talked to me 43 times in 15 minutes. I'm still, well, indifferent.