Advertising that saved Apple

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company, he said, was 90 days before the bankruptcy. In the next 15 months, it had become profitable again, and its market capitalization has tripled. At this time, Apple does not bring to market new products. So what saved the corporation? Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has a special place in the revival of Apple advertising campaign Think Different. Black and white TV commercial in which glorified free-thinkers, change the world in a matter of months, returned to consumers, investors and employees of the faith in the future of Apple. In the biography of Steve Jobs Isaacson he wrote that inspiration and co-author of this campaign gave the founder of Apple. Jobs' role was much more modest objection creative director TBWA / Chiat / Day, Rob Siltanen. More precisely, Jobs did not want to release a commercial aired. Here is the story in the presentation of the Siltanena.

In early July 1997, my office looked pleased CEO of TBWA / Chiat / Day Lee Clow. He said that we're going to meet with Steve Jobs. Steve recently returned to Apple, and was determined to make a difference.

In Apple's headquarters we have held a large conference room and said that Steve will soon join us. Jobs have not seen Lee for ten years, and I thought he was warmly embrace Clow and say something like: "Welcome home." I was wrong.

Jobs walked into the conference room in the famous black turtleneck, shorts and flip-flops. Such carelessness is hard to reconcile with his dry and businesslike demeanor. New old Apple CEO did not spend much time on greetings, and the glory days when Lee and the old guard Chiat Jobs helped create one of the most impressive advertising campaigns of all time - Apple 1984 - he does not even remember. I limited only by the words: "Good to see you. Thank you for coming "- and offered to go directly to the cause. Apple - is a "wounded beast", said Steve. Corporation in a worse state than he had expected. "I am reviewing campaign and spend meeting with representatives of different agencies to understand who was capable of, - said Jobs. - You, too, can offer their services. " Everything was not as we had imagined.

"I think we can do without commercials on TV - said Jobs. - Leaving only the ads in computer magazines, not yet look at what's what. " Clow listened to all this with his usual equanimity and restraint. I thought that Jobs is far more domineering and arrogant than I thought. The impression that we should be happy with his presence.

I have been strongly disagree with the strategy, which outlined the Jobs. "Half the world believes that Apple will die. Some advertising pages in computer magazines nobody convince - I interrupted him. - You have to show everyone that Apple is strong as a lion. Have you ever seen that in the smoking room discussing advertising in newspapers and magazines? You have to do something big and bold. TV spots and outdoor advertising informative - that's what you need. " I added that I learned to cook beautiful presentation in almost all advertising agencies, and Apple needed to really powerful idea. "Okay, show me your ideas, to prove that you are the best" - did not argue Jobs.

The agency I collected art groups and informed them about the job. Prescribes a full strategy and draw up a detailed plan was not time. It was necessary to quickly figure out how in the shortest possible time to rehabilitate by Apple in the eyes of consumers.

We have a brand ardent fans among the representatives of creative professions. We thought that maybe the best way to "stop the bleeding" - to receive praise from the famous fans of Apple. We found that Apple computers are Steven Spielberg, Sting and many other stars. At the same time appear in the press a lot of negative articles about Apple - many of these computers are called "toys" is unable to solve serious problems. Journalists wrote that the purchase of Apple - it's a waste of money. They relished the fact that the already meager market share continues to decline. The situation for Apple aggravated by the fact that most of the programs was made for IBM-compatible computers. Company Jobs was in a bad position. But it is in these moments there is a chance to make a giant leap.

A week later, our team gathered in a large conference room. Remember the scene in the movie "A Beautiful Mind", where every centimeter of the walls plastered with papers? Our conference room looked exactly like this: everywhere hung photos, handwritten sketches, designs and slogans. Four creative teams presented their work. Three proved mediocre. But the one I was very hooked.

At first glance, a sketch for advertising billboards did not contain anything that would have struck the imagination. Only black-and-white photographs of people being branded as rebels. One was a photo layout Einstein. On the other - Thomas Edison. On the third - Gandhi. There was also a famous photograph, in which people are inserted flowers in the barrels machines in protest against the Vietnam War. At the top of each image - the logo Apple, made in the colors of the rainbow, but the slogan «Think different». And nothing more. The idea belonged to the prominent art director Craig Tanimoto. Against the backdrop of banal images of computers and celebrities she looked fresh and significant, albeit self-explanatory.

I asked Craig to explain what he wants to say. «IBM has been using in their advertising campaigns slogan« Think! »(« Think! "). It seems to me, Apple is very different from IBM, so I decided that «Think different» («Think Different") is an interesting option, - he explained. - And it occurred to me to put these words into the mouth of people who think differently - not like all ».

I thought that the contrast created by the multi-colored logo and black-and-white photography, making the slogan «Think different» more daring. Such advertising was needed Apple - conspicuous and suggestive. Clow idea too relished, and we connected all the working groups to create the concept of advertising for television and print media.

Some art directors do the selection of black-and-white photos of celebrities, which you can use for advertising in newspapers and magazines. The rest of the team focused on the TV version. Clough asked one of the most talented television producers - Jennifer Golub choose videos about famous people. Starting a project from scratch, we make a simple videozagotovku which is to transmit the mood and the concept of advertising. This videokontsept usually intended only to show the customer that he realized how placed key emphasis of the campaign.

Advertising time is precious, so the duration of the video should not exceed 60 seconds. But when doing videokontsept, you can not limit yourself: the main task - to convey the essence of emotion. Clow came up with a brilliant idea - to make music to the song Crazy roller strength of the British artist. A key line of this song - «We're never going to survive unless we get a little crazy» («We will not survive if you do not become a little crazy") - perfectly convey meaning, we would like to invest in advertising. However, Clow, we worked on the text of titles designed to convey the basic idea: the true visionaries swim against the tide and think differently, and Apple makes products specifically for these people.

The text was so.

"There are people who look at the world differently.
They see things in a new way.
They invent, create, create.
We do "tools" for such people.
Let others consider them crazy, but we understand that they - genius.
(On the screen appears gradually the Apple logo and slogan.)
Think different. "

We have completed work on the roller, outdoor and print layouts, did some storyboards and all day rehearsing presentation.

At the appointed time, all gathered in a small conference room. Jobs came accompanied by several subordinates. He seemed in good spirits. Clow began the presentation, during which Jobs did not utter a sound. He seemed intrigued. When it came time to speak, Jobs looked around the room - everywhere it looked billboards Think Different - and said, "It's cool, it's really cool ... but I can not go for it. People actually think I'm selfish, and if we put Apple on par with all these geniuses - I eat in the press. " The room fell into silence. We had a serious problem: the other options we are not ready. Steve looked back at all of us and said aloud, as though to himself: "What am I doing ?! To hell with all of it! This is the right move! It's great! Let's agree tomorrow. " He changed his point of view 180 ° in seconds, right before our eyes.

Once Apple has officially become our customer, Jobs said he wanted to play the video with the song as the strength of TV advertising, but it must be reduced to 60 seconds. We tried to do it twisted this way and that, but all their efforts were in vain: from the song words can not erase. The song was a powerful element of the whole movie, and if we cut it, it loses its strength. In addition, there was a problem with obtaining the rights from the performer.

Returning to the headquarters of Apple, Steve told us that we can not use this video and song for broadcast. He was clearly not happy. I assured him that the advertising version will be even better.

I have always been fascinated by the film "Dead Poets Society" with Robin Williams in the lead role. Some episodes touched deeply. Emotions and meaning of the film resonated with what I wanted to do advertising for Apple. Key statements from "Dead Poets" very close to me, some of them inspired me to write the script for Apple: «We must look at things from different angles. Even if you are sure that can not be otherwise, reflect again. As silly or naive this may seem in the eyes of others. Do not be afraid to start from scratch, "" Let others say what they want - no doubt, the words and ideas really change the world ».

I quoted a few of these phrases to Steve and asked if he had seen the film. "Of course! - Said Jobs. - Robin Williams - my friend. " It was decided that I would write something like that and we'll see you next week.

I had to work day and night. My options were used up numerous scenarios. I wrote so that it sounded like a speech hero Robin Williams. I liked the introduction that I wrote as an epigraph: "Dedicated to madmen. Not like everyone else. Rebels. Troublemakers. People who see the world differently, "and the end of" the world is changing just those who think not of this world. "

I thought, I came up with a powerful entry - a new video it went simultaneously with a series of brilliant individuals and was to excite the audience. Thinking about these heroes and their struggle, I realized that they have something in common with Apple. As Jobs' company, it has a unique philosophy. All of them, like Apple, at some point hung unflattering labels. Martin Luther King before to recognize the righteous be in violation of public order; when the irrepressible Ted Turner first put forward the idea of ​​the clock news channel, he scoffed at; Einstein kept for eccentric with delusions.

In 1997, Apple computer called "toy for creative personalities" and terribly criticized for the fact that he had "no such" operating system. Our advertising was to help people realize that different from the others - good. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "To be a great - so do not find understanding." This was the main message of the campaign Think Different.

Clow my achievements too much. He made a few edits, and I recited my text to 60-second video. Record showed many employees. Reviews have been positive, people even said that while watching them goose bumps ran.

The presentation was attended by roller only three people: Jobs, Clow and me. When the video ended, Jobs issued a "Sucks! Disgusting! Yes, it's trash! I thought you'd do something very similar to "Dead Poets Society"! Have you done shit! »

Clow said something like: "I understand what to look again you will not." And Steve has already launched into a rant that we should bring to the work of the writers of the film "Dead Poets Society" and "real writers».

His tirade stunned me. I put my heart and soul in this ad. It seemed to me I was able to express the key message of the campaign, but Jobs just destroy me. I said, "Steve, you may not like, but this movie - not suck." However, Jobs did not hear me, he went on to say that it is - a failure. Clough tried to hush up the situation and said that we will try to remake the material.

Below I present the original script we showed Jobs (from my notes). As you can see, the first "Mad Men" is very close to the final version, eventually aired.

"Dedicated to madmen.
Not like everyone else. Rebels. Troublemakers.
People who see the world differently.
They invent, create and build.
They - the driving force of humanity.
Let others consider them crazy, we understand they - genius.
The world is changing just those who think not of this world. "
The display shows the Apple logo and the slogan «Think different».

When we left the office Clow Apple, I was in the hearts he said that all squeezed out, so he'll have to find Jobs for someone else. He added that on the Apple I ugrohal plenty of time - creative director should pay more attention to the key customers of the company. Clow agreed.

I took up other customers, and Lee ordered to remake Apple TV advertising copywriter and connect several freelancers. One of them was Ken Segal. One day he came to my office and said, "Jobs has revised a lot of scenarios, we have already gone to the second round ... and decided to spin your" Mad Men. " I made some changes. I hope you do not mind. "

Ken added some beautiful touches to TV scripts and created for newspapers and magazines advertising expanded version. His additions have been very successful, he really improved video without touching the foundations laid by me.

After the video was aired, and there was outdoor, talking all about Apple. It is not always positive. Journalist Los Angeles Times wrote something like: "A bunch of dead people - damn just noticed, after all, the company is already on its last legs." Good or bad, but people are talking about the brand, which have not been noticed. And there were many conversations. Apple back to life. Company Jobs has not become strong as a lion, but, obviously, it seemed such. Adherents perk defectors pulled back, and those who are not seriously considering Apple products, drastically changed their minds.

After Think Different Apple does promptly went up the hill, despite the fact that new products have virtually no corporation. During the year, it quotes increased threefold. A year after the launch of Think Different Apple introduced the first iMac. This computer has become one of the best selling in the history of Apple, largely due to revolutionary design.

I think that without the campaign Think Different, preceding the launch of iMac and maintain it, the press is likely to be a new computer called "the next toy from Apple's colorful packaging».

Despite my painful clash with Steve, all ended well - and for him and for us. Think Different ad campaign has collected numerous awards and movie "The Crazies" was voted the best advertising of the year.

In 1997, Apple was on the verge of collapse, and 14 years later became the most valuable company in the world. Madness? Just believe in it.

Text: Rob Siltanen


See also

New and interesting