By Noel Young, Correspondent

April 28, 2012 | 2 min read

The TV editor of AdAge didn't miss when he castigated two new ads for the iPhone 4S. They seem "horribly out of touch with modern consumer culture," wrote Brian Stenberg. He called them "a rare misstep for the popular consumer-electronics company which ought to be producing ads that appeal to the broadest possible crowd rather than a narrow class of wealthy privileged or unique users."

Wow, that's telling them!

What had Apple and agency TBWAMedia Arts Lab done?

They put the iPhone 4S with its Siri assistant in the hands of US celebrities Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel, and had them issue oddball commands:" Tell me if that's really rain I see outside. Help me find organic mushrooms for my risotto. Remind me to put the gazpacho on ice."

Sorry, Brian, how wrong can you be? He poured cold water on the ads. But, AdAge admits today, " it turns out the consumers loved them." According to ad-effectiveness company Ace Metrix, in fact, "They're rejuvenating the Apple brand."

The two ads were the most-effective ads to premiere in the week ending April 20, according to the company. They were also the second- and third-most effective mobile phone commercials of 2012 based on Ace Metrix measures, right behind Samsung's Galaxy Note campaign.

AdAge reports its own misstep in all the gory detail. "The two new ads are also indexing well above Apple's recent work, which "had been falling rather flat," Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll told the mag.

"These ads performed very well, especially with younger women, who did not react as strongly to Apple's more feature-focused ads from earlier in the year," said Daboll .

"Celebrity ads are risky, as many celebrities can be polarising. In these latest ads, Apple has chosen wisely, using celebrities with broad appeal."

The ads scored 653 and 645 on Ace Metrics' scale (Ms. Deschanel scored higher said AdAge) compared with Apple's average score of 620.

Mr. Daboll said the company's previous, feature-focused campaign had been scoring below Apple's average.

Full marks to AdAge for coming clean. You'll get it right next time!

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