Apple’s Promotion Marketing Mix

James Holmes
4 min readJan 16, 2020


What attracts the masses to Apple stores on release day? How do they create such a desire for their products? Why has Apples promotional marketing strategy made it into one of (if not the) most influential companies in the world? I am going to show you the promotion element of the Apple Marketing strategy and how effective this has been and how Apple have developed their promotional marketing mix over time.

Apples promotion mix of its marketing strategy is something to behold. On first analysis it seems so effortless and easy. Apple seem to make no attempt at all to promote their products. It’s like it is all done for them. Or is this subtle strategy exactly what they are aiming to achieve.

What Apple do so great is that they promote their brand through the values it holds.

Shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he stood up on stage in shorts and sandals and launched the ‘think different’ ad campaign. This speech alone inspired so many people. This was to become one of Apples greatest promotional achievements. In this campaign, Steve Jobs wanted to explain ‘who is apple and what is it we stand for? Where do we fit in this world?’. He said, “Apples core value is that [we believe] people with passion can change the world for the better”. The crazies’ advert was launched not long after. I’m sure you remember it.

This campaign resonated with people who likened themselves to the ‘being different’ type of person that was being described. It inspired people to be confident within themselves and not only ‘think different’ but be different and be proud of that. What a great brand to be associated with.

Whilst still having the underlying value of having products that can help people be great, apple have adapted and changed their adverts over time to accommodate different needs.

In 2008-09 when the iPhone 3G and the 3GS was launched Apple used high security buildings, security guards and a mission impossible type scenario to create an exclusivity feel for the product. This helped separate Apple from its competitors as it was relatively new to market with mobile phones.

From 2010–2012 when the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 were released Apple changed their advert style to simply having an iPhone on the screen and showing off its features e.g. FaceTime, Siri, a bigger screen etc. This was to meet customer needs for a new exciting and fresh product. These technological advances also put iPhone ahead of its competitors.

From 2013–2019 when the iPhone 5S right up until iPhone XR were released Apple focused primarily on the design of the product. Making it the ‘cool’ must have product that looks good in any pocket. Appealing to the younger generation and the need to be ‘up to date’.

More recently for the iPhone 11, Pro and Max adverts Apple look as though they have reverted back to highlighting the product features again e.g. multiple cameras, Face ID, gaming abilities of the phone etc. This may be because many of Apples competitors including samsung and huwaeii have been boasting better and more up to date features for a fraction of the price.

As you can see Apples advertisements have changed over the years to adapt to customer needs, new technology and the advancements of its competitors. Apple has always managed to stay ahead of its competitors through the creative promotion of its products and an ability to articulate its products in just the right manner to separate it from the crowd and create a huge following. Keep an eye out for how Apple promotes its products in the future.



James Holmes

Freelance Digital Marketer