#FAIL: #AppleLive Debacle Exposes Apple’s Real-Time Marketing Weaknesses


To say today’s #AppleLive stream event went poorly is an understatement. I tried to watch from my iPhone, but the audio glitches with simultaneous translation and poor video quality made it unwatchable. Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my frustration:

Topsy #AppleLive Stream Problems Query

Topsy Query #AppleLive not working

Topsy Query #AppleLive Stream #Fail


Instead, I monitored the Twitter streams of the Wall Street Journal’s Johanna SternGeoffrey FowlerDaisuke WakabayashiBrian Fitzgerald, and Wilson Rothman. Kudos to them for providing the real-time support and updates #AppleLive failed to deliver.


Why Doesn’t Apple Want to Communicate in Real-Time Marketing Speed and Agility with Its Devoted Fans?

Apple acquired Topsy in December 2013. It was a brilliant move to bolster their real-time and mobile capabilities in their products and services because consumers live in a one-screen world. So with all this rich Twitter data, why isn’t real-time Twitter communications with its rabid fanbase a strategic priority among senior leadership?

Let’s examine how Apple’s Senior’s Leadership used Twitter during the biggest and most important live event in the company’s history in five (5) years:


Apple Senior Executive Leadership Number of Tweets During Sept 9th Event

Where Was Musa Tariq, Digital Marketing Director for Apple Retail?

It shocks me Apple’s top digital talent posted a total of four (4) tweets during the live event. 4. That’s it. Why was he silent during the #AppleLive stream meltdown? Why wasn’t he communicating with fans during this crisis?

Musa Tariq Twitter Stream Sept 9


Most of All, Why was Angela Ahrendts Noticeably Absent?

The media hype teed up this event as an unprecendented public relations coup for Apple. Didn’t Apple remember the negative criticism it and other Silicon Valley royalty received in recent months about gender imbalance and lack of diversity?

Therefore, why wasn’t Angela Ahrendts a visible part of the whole damn event and the introduction of Apple’s most important product in recent memory? She transformed Burberry into one of the most coveted and successful global luxury brands. The Apple Watch pricing is clearly positioned for the luxury demographic.

Instead, we get this. One (1) tweet. Are you kidding me????? Why was one of the world’s greatest marketers silently sitting on the sideline????


Angela Ahrendts Sept 9 Tweet

Closing Thoughts

The #AppleLive stream disaster exposed the consequences of Apple deciding not to participate in real-time communications during the Steve Jobs era. Sadly, they’re continuing on the same path with Tim Cook.

Smart competitors will capitalize on this opening. If you can’t compete on size and brute force, compete on speed and agility. That’s how David beat Goliath.

Bonus #1: Check out Dan Munro‘s LinkedIn post: Apple’s Colossal Marketing Mix

Bonus #2: Read Emmanuel Kolade‘s LinkedIn post: Apple Pay – Why Apple is Giving 500 Million People a U2 Album for Free

Bonus #3: See Georgia Wells‘ Wall Street Journal article: ‘Songs of Innocence’ Giving You Vertigo? Remove U2′s Free Album From iTunes

Bonus #4: Go to this Apple Support page to remove U2’s “Songs of Innocence” album from your iTunes Music Library and Purchases:

Apple Support Page to Remove U2 Songs of Innocence from iTunes Music Library 10.01.15 PM


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Tony Faustino is a marketing and corporate strategist.  He thinks and writes about how The Internet reinvents marketing strategy in his personal blog, Social Media ReInventionFollow his tweets @tonyfaustino or circle him on Google+.