Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mac Inspiration

In great advertising lies great power. Which is why come campaign season, political parties will spend huge amounts of funds on advertising to steer voter sentiment in their direction. One powerful slogan, an effective accompanying strategy, and voila! miracles can happen - Barrack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States.

Malaysian political parties should take a leaf out of Obama's book and start hunting around for a good advertising agency. Who knows, one super concept, and change could come to Malaysia too! Well I digress, the objective of this post is not politics, but advertising......and to be more specific, it's about an advertising campaign that touched the hearts and minds of consumers in the late 1990s and still continues to do so.

The name of the campaign is Think Different, and it was based on a poem The Crazy Ones. It was commissioned by Steve Jobs to revive the ailing Apple brand after his return to the company on December 20, 1996.

An Ad Is Born
Of the three advertising agencies invited to present ideas before Jobs, he picked Chiat\Day represented by chief creative officer/account director Lee Clow. The concept presented by Clow was a new slogan Think Different with a montage of artists and creative professionals using the Mac. Clow also said he wanted to feature filmmakers at Dreamworks SKG working on their Macs. Jobs liked the concept, but wanted to use celebrities and thinkers instead.

The objective of the ad was to align Apple with the creativity and personalities of people who have made an impact on the 20th century. The main theme of the campaign is that Mac users think differently.

Interesting Facts
  • Clow and his team were given 17 days to complete the entire campaign ( television commercial, billboards, print ads, posters).
  • Jobs helped the ad team to get usage rights from celebrities featured in the campaign.
  • No Apple products were featured in the ad, for fear of exploiting the famous personalities whose images were used in the campaign.
  •  All the featured personalities or their estates were given money and computer equipment to be donated to charities of their choices.
  • At a time when outside advertisements were practically unheard of in the computer industry, Apple bought space in popular magazines and fashion magazines, instead of sticking to Mac and general computing magazines.
  • The only thing that makes it an Apple commercial is a small faded-in Apple logo at the end.
  • After the first campaign, Apple started sending complimentary posters of the famous people featured in the ad to public schools.
  • Chiat\Day copywriter Craig Tanimoto wrote the free-verse poem The Crazy Ones (narrated by Richard Dreyfuss) which was used throughout the campaign.
The campaign which debuted on September 28, 1997 received glowing press write-ups and was hailed as a turning point for Apple. A slew of awards soon followed - an Emmy Award for best commercial, a Belding, a Silver Lion at Cannes, an Effie Award for marketing effectiveness.

Poster courtesy of Macintosh
The Team Behind Think Different
The campaign was developed at TBWA\ Chiat\Day, Los Angeles by Clow, creative directors Ken Segall, Rob Siltanen, Eric Grunbaum, Amy Moorman, art director/executive producer/director Jennifer Golub, art directors Jessica Schulman, Margaret Midgett, Ken Younglieb, Bob Kuperman, Yvonne Smith, Susan Alinsangan, copywriter Craig Tanimoto.

As an advertising student in the late 1990s, I was inspired by the Think Different campaign. It possessed all the hallmarks of a great brand campaign. It was fascinating, emotional and iconic with a powerful message - the Mac is for thinkers.

The pic above is of my MacBook purchased in early 2007, every creative person should own one.

More stuff on Think Different

1 comment:

E said...

ohh how i long to have a macbook of my own... someday!