What if all ads looked like Apple ads?

Apple Computer has a very distinct approach to print advertising.

Visually, it’s clean, spare, minimalist, practically screaming, “Look how cool and hip I am!”

It’s worked well for them, because — especially since its software has become less intuitive and, for some basic applications, more Windows-like over the years — self-conscious coolness, hipness and non-bulky, non-clunky design have become main selling points.

Unlike other digital products, the way iPads, iPhones, iPods, iMacs, and MacBook Pros look has been an integral part of the product development. So all too often, all it takes is one look to get otherwise savvy consumers eagerly drooling to buy one.

Would that approach work for other products?

A brand-new blog just starting to go viral on the Internet — applefiedads.blogspot.com — shows that it wouldn’t.

It doesn’t say why, though.

While the look of the Apple print ads is the latest cool, their strategy is very primitive, dating back over a hundred years to the turn of the 20th Century, when the “strategy” was, show the product. Period.

That may be okay when it’s the product’s look that sells it. But how many things do you buy for something other than their looks?

Insofar as it has any sales points at all, the Apple print work involves only the two lowest appeals on the hierarchy of sales points — features and attributes.

MacBooks and MacBook Airs are thin, and that’s why people buy them. Wheat Thins are thin, too, but people buy them for an entirely different reason.

And that’s precisely why all ads don’t look like Apple ads — and why they shouldn’t. (As you can see from this slide show.)