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Comcast thinks it’s Jony Ive, starts branding “Designed in Philadelphia” on its remotes

February 17th, 2015 at 9:15 PM
Why Is Comcast So Bad

It’s hardly a surprise to see a company like Samsung copy Apple. But Comcast? Well, that’s certainly a new one for the record books.

In a comically bad attempt to mimic some of Apple’s mojo, The Verge reports that Comcast recently slapped a “Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia” tagline onto the back of its Premium Backlit Remote.

Sound familiar?

It should.

On the back of every Apple mobile device, going all the way back to the first iterations of the iPod, there’s that one familiar sentence: “Designed by Apple in California.” The slogan also appears on the company’s packaging, with Apple even going so far as to create an entire ad campaign around the slogan a few years ago.

Call it psychological marketing if you will, but the phrasing arguably helps create a sense of comfort insofar as it helps make an otherwise cold tech product seem just a tad more inviting.

On this very point, Joel Spolsky wrote the following about the phrase all the way back in 2007:

You think of California, not the actual state, with its endless dismal boulevards full of muffler shops and donut stores, but the California of memory: the Beach Boys, the Summer of Love, and the beatniks, a utopian land of opportunity, an escape, where you go when you leave behind the cold winters and your conservative parents back in Cleveland.

And “Apple” in California is, of course, on the literal level, a computer company, and not a very nice one, but put those words together and you think of apple orchards, and the Beatles, and you think of how Forrest Gump got rich off of Apple stock. And “designed in California…” It’s not made. It’s designed. In California. Like a surfboard. Or a Lockheed XP-80.

On the other side of the coin, it’s hard to lay out the benefits of associating a remote control of all things with Philadelphia, a great city to be sure, but one that doesn’t evoke the same type of imagery as California. Whereas California is synonymous with beaches, movie stars, and technological innovation, Philadelphia brings to mind Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell, or perhaps Boyz II Men and Will Smith if you’re looking for something more recent.

One can only hope that is, perhaps, a tongue-in-cheek-type of stunt from Comcast as opposed to a serious marketing effort.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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