I don't think I'm going to do a good job on this as a rant, because [*whispering*] I actually like Apple's marketing.
I've had an enormous soft spot for Apple marketing ever since I saw the original "1984" commercial during the 1984 Superbowl. It is fairly inexplicable that I was watching the Superbowl, because I was living alone at the time and wasn't a football fan. In addition, my only TV was an old 12" B&W that my Granny had given me in the mid-60s. It had rabbit ears and got Channel 7 (or whichever channel the Superbowl was on) on every channel. Hence, I almost never turned it on.
I also really loved Apple's Y2K ad featuring HAL 9000, the computer from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The ad is apparently no longer available on the net. [*pout*]
One would think that, as an editor, I would hate the "Think Different" ads that featured photos of famous people. OK, I saw the point that it was kind of blechy of Apple to try to associate all those people with its products. But I thought it was cool that they were showing those people in ads to begin with. And at least showing them didn't create the massive cognitive dissonance that the latest Citibank ad campaign is creating. I agree with most of the general statements, but -- a bank that thinks you shouldn't care about your money? Why, are they going to lose it all?
People also love to hate the iPod ads with silhouettes of skinny people with spiky hair dancing while their ears are hooked into an iPod. I wish the ads showed more of a variety of body shapes and sizes. But I like their simple, striking look. They are a lot more interesting to look at while sitting on the freeway than ads featuring bottles of booze or SUVs tearing up some pristine landscape.
I also really liked the second-generation iMac "jellybean" ad, with the five computers of different colors arranged in a circle above the word "Yum." I confess to even liking the fad it spawned of producing any product containing a significant amount of plastic or rubber in multiple translucent jellybean colors (including the iVibe rabbit vibrator).
I pretty much completely missed the "Switch" ad campaign because I wasn't watching TV at the time.
I was working at Apple when the original iMac came out. I leave you with this photo of the employees' launch party, taken from the balcony of the building where my department was housed. Yes, that is in fact a two-story-tall inflatable replica of the iMac.