ipad maniaI made the mistake of not doing the proper research in purchasing an iPad for my wonderful hubby for Father's Day.  I was quite shocked on Thursday evening to find that not only was Best Buy completely sold out but so was the Apple store and every location this side of Texas!

Luckily I have 2 kiddos that are more gifted at hand crafted art than I so they created a cute little card which detailed for sweet little hubby that iPad was on the way.

He was so excited that on Sunday a stop at the Apple store was not an option but a requirement.

ipad mani fathers dayI was in utter amazement as we stepped into the store. People of all shapes, sizes, color and ages were huddled, packed around the iPad like sardines! From 5 year old rugrats to grandpa and grandma's discussing how they must have one!

As I watched my 6 yr old find his way to his favorite iPad game within seconds I couldn't believe my eyes.  We don't yet own an iPad.  He has never touched one except for 2-3 visits to Best Buy the past month.  So… how did he learn to use it so fast? How did all the other 100 folks learn to use it?

I'll tell you how… even in the Best Buy store where they have the Apple products show cased it is an “experience!”  They are there for the “touching”.  One day my kiddos and I got separated as we usually do since we're all geeks at heart.  We get into our own “thang” and lose all sense of time.  As I happened upon my rugrats at the Apple table there they are dirty pinkies all over the iPads.  My first reaction was “yikes… I am sorry Mr. Best Buy”.  However, within seconds I realized it was EXACTLY what they wanted!

Apple has absolutely mastered the brand experience.  When my rugrat knows more about the iPad than I do they are doing something right! The brand experience IS THE REASON the apple store was packed. It IS the reason 50% of the people in the store were looking up You Tube, email, and who knows what site.

It was truly like they were all individuals yet connected in a very cool way.  I am such a geek I had chills.  I am so happy to be right smack dab in the middle of a social media revolution.  What fun the next few years are going to be.

I have to admit, when the iPad first came out the college textbook marketer in me (that I am trying desperately to part with..lol) thought “what are they thinking… this fits no where within their product line”.   Yet.. here I am a few short wks later loving it for just that reason!

juan apple store

juan saves the day!

Thanks to Juan of the Apple Store in Brandon, Fl the marketing nut who at one time didn't think she'd ever want an iPad… he thankfully put my name on a priority list so it should be here first thing Tuesday morning.  They'll email me when it arrives. Would have taken an estimated 3-7 biz days had I ordered on website.  However, Juan got-r-done! Hmmm… why do ya' think they want you to come IN TO THE STORE to get on a PRIORITY LIST friends?  BRAND EXPERIENCE!  You can NOT EXPERIENCE the brand to via the internet the same way you can and to the same depth as a visit to the store.  LOVE IT!

During my iPad Apple Mania experience I recorded a few twit casts you can view here.  I filmed a short video and will post on our You Tube channel.  My husband was embarrassed and made me shut if off.  I didn't want to argue as it was Father's day.

Next time I am going by myself w/my new iPhone 4 ready to tape!

What are your thoughts? Do you also find it fascinating?