Creative director behind Apple’s TV ads quits, moves to Samsung ad agency

“Scott Trattner, executive creative director at TBWA/Media Arts Lab and one of the talents behind Apple ads in the past decade, has left his post to fill the same role at MDC Partners-owned 72andSunny,” Rupal Parekh reports for Advertising Age.

“He’s best known for creating the iconic and long-running ‘Get a Mac’ campaign, but since 2004 he’s worked on the creative development of dozens of ideas to promote Apple products, including the iPod, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPhone, Mac, iTunes, iCloud and iPad,” Parekh reports.

“Additionally, 72andSunny has promoted two creative directors, Jason Norcross and Frank Hahn, to join Mr. Trattner in his new role,” Parekh reports. “Together, the trio will be responsible for driving creative excellence across the agency’s roster of clients.”

MacDailyNews Note: 72andSunny’s client list includes Samsung. Their ads include the ones for the Samsung Galaxy S II which 72andSunny’s website describes as “a campaign that launches the Samsung Galaxy S II by challenging blind allegiances to Apple’s inferior products.” (bold emphasis added – MDN Ed.)

Scott Trattner
Scott Trattner
Parekh reports, “For Mr. Trattner, the move means getting to work on a host of clients instead of full-time on a single, demanding one.”

“Apple’s most recent round of ads, touting the retail stores’ ‘Genius Bar,’ were panned by consumers and pulled in short order by Apple,” Parekh reports. “Debate ensued over the thinking behind the ads, with one prevailing theory being it was an attempt by the tech giant to connect with older consumers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So – just speculating here – when your marketing genius editor dies and is no longer there to tell you it’s “shit,” you immediately begin making and airing widely-panned shit, so then you shop around your ad reel (whose quality level can be attributed to your late genius editor), quit and start working for a derivative, patent infringing, peddler of plastic shit that’s hell-bent on ripping off everything your late genius editor created – and that also has the unmitigated gall to call his products “inferior?” Sound about right to you? If so, vomitous. If not, good luck in your new endeavor, Scott!

We all know that nothing got on the air without Steve Jobs’ stamp of approval. Once that was no longer required, the ad quality declined immediately and measurably. Celebrities hawking a beta feature is an UNCREATIVE, LAZY move – and, you saw what happened to those “Mac Genius” ads. If you think they made all of those “Mac Genius” ads to run once during the first few days of the Olympics only to erase all mention of them from Apple’s site and Apple’s YouTube channel just a few days later, we’ve got a nicely-priced bridge in Brooklyn with your name on it.

Added at 9:45am EDT:

By SteveJack:

Tim Cook doesn’t know – he’s an operations guy. The best in the world.

But, don’t blame Cook for not knowing. There was only ONE Steve Jobs. He was a Renaissance man. He had TASTE.

The ads looked good to Cook. To him, they looked the same as all the others. He doesn’t know, nor can he be expected to know. He only knows the ads sucked from the reactions they provoked.

The loss of Steve Jobs was exactly that: A loss; a tremendous loss – in many areas, many of which have yet to be felt.

SteveJack is a pen name used by a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a contributor to both MacDailyNews Takes and the Opinion section.


    1. Agree. There is more to this story than what is being released. Maybe the chap was not happy the products coming online in September?. All I know is that the “I am a Mac” ads were the best in your face ads until the new Pepsi truck driver ads came out.

  1. Good riddance but still , if Steve Jobs approved all other great ads , what he HECK went thru Tim Cook minds to approve those nauseating ads?

    Must really question his tastes!

  2. MDN took words right out my mouth too. Steve’s absence is being felt far too sooner than I had hoped to expect.

    It would be prudent of Apple to continue to excel in the most important direction — innovation. The rest, i.e. publicity, legal, talent retention, retail and service excellence, as well as customer churns etc. will all fall in place behind the quality of pure innovation.

    But there’s one act that seems impossible to replace, the Jobsian touch. He also moonlighted as the spokesman/face/salesman of the company masterfully. A tough act to follow, he made it look so effortless.

    You’re missed Steve, everyday, the world over.

  3. Obviously we all miss Steve but come on MDN, it’s not as if Apple made no mistakes before he died and I don’t think Cook is doing a bad job. Please move on, Steve isn’t coming back.

    1. Under Tim Cook , the EPEAT fiasco, tormenting Apple store employees and that horrendous ads…
      If one issue is a sign what is 3 ?
      A wake up call?
      Thanks god for Johnny Ive

      1. For now all of those mistakes were quicky corrected.

        There were mistakes under Steven Jobs — though of different nature, not that amateurish — and those were corrected, too.

        So there is still hope for current Apple management. We have to withhold judgement until another few years pass.

        1. Yeah, Steve Jobs made mistakes but Steve Jobs also delivered great products. Tim Cook is enjoying the residual leadership inertia left by Jobs. Tim Cook’s true leadership potential will be revealed by the end of 2013.

      2. EPEAT was not a fiasco. Apple was being hugely unfairly judged by an incompetent and corrupt govern ny agency. It decided to pull out of it to bring attention to how out of date it was, the agency realized how critical Apple was to its continued relevance and bent to Apple’s will and promised to review their policy.

        Not a fiasco, it looks like it was a very clever move on Apples part.

        I’m with you on the retail employee part, that deeply concerns me. The ads were bad but hardly horrendous.

          1. To be fair, to get rid of EPEAT was rather Jobsian move. Why would you need to certify that, say, your car can run at 100 mph if it can run at 200?

            EPEAT is outdated, useless thing for now. But bureaucrats of all kinds just *love* certifications — however excessive and useless those might be. So Apple got back to EPEAT again to calm those people down.

        1. The vast majority of consumers know nothing and care less than nothing about EPEAT. It was NOT antennagate! Steve ate the crow on that one. There are going to be some missteps when running the world’s most valuable business, especially when every small detail is scrutinized by the likes of us! I mean, the fact that the SIM card holder might be made of some special material makes headlines fer crissakes. NO company is going to hold up to that level of scrutiny, especially when they’re trying to replace Steve Jobs. Give the humans a chance.

          1. Short of tree huggers the EPEAT situation was nothing more than a glitch on the radar screen.

            I was at a function recently and the subject of smartphones came up and few if any people even knew where Apple was from let alone who where the power brokers at Apple or for that matter at any other tech co.

            Humans are like sheep, in that whatever the flavour of the day is is what they will have with the exception of the odd contrarian. MSFT/Apple need I say more. 🙂

            The human condition never ceases to surprise me. I was recently chatting with a Japanese friend of mine as to how Pearl Harbour and Hiroshima quickly became water under the bridge as commercial interests quickly overcame principles. Same can be said about people of the Jewish faith who drive Mercedes Benz and BMW.

            Think about this for a minute, food companies can cause deaths due to poor quality control and she the dust settles they continue to sell their food and we carry on with eating it.

    2. We know Steve isn’t coming back. We love this company that Steve built and we cherish it beyond words because nearly every other company on earth produces pure shit when they are not duplicating what Apple makes.

      Tim Cook isn’t just CEO of some company, he is CEO of Apple, which is a very big task. Much is expected of him.

      1. SJ was not anywhere near as involved as what a lot of you think. Apple is a very large company and no CEO including SJ can be involved in everything as there is simply not enough hours in the day hence why companies have hierarchy.

        Apple marketing messages without a doubt include a whole lot of people and yes of course probably did include SJ, but in the end decisions were made on value propositions that the advert was delivering.

        This said, I will admit that when I saw Cook and the others at the last event in their pressed shirts hanging out of their jeans trying to look cool, I hungered for SJ with the simple black shirt and jeans look that became iconic.

        Not sure what the future will hold, but no doubt the rules of engagement have changed with Android and MSFT appearing to be serious challengers and Apple like every other company on the Globe will need to stay the course and do everything it can to avoid a shareholder exodus as they are a finicky bunch. Consumers frankly will only become a problem if and when their ability to consume every new Apple device dries up.

        1. pat, you should stop talking out of your ass because your ass doesn’t know a thing about Apple. Have you ever read the book “Insanely Simple”? One man — and one man alone — approved all ads at Apple, and that was Steve Jobs. Try reading the book on the topic before spouting off nonsense.

  4. Yup, felt tremendous loss when Steve died. Apple’s star was showing very brightly, and now it has started to dim.

    I respect so much the dedication to Apple, it’s products and people that Steve showed while he endured so much pain. Issacson wasn’t able to capture that in his writings.

    1. Shouting silliness today I see. I have a friend who looks almost exactly like him, a terrific person in every important way and very creative. Looking like your concept of a major hippie douche does not equate to who lives inside the book cover.

      But the guy is going to regret the crap Apple Genius ads and the crap he’ll have to do for self-destructive Samsung.

  5. The “Jobsian touch” didn’t turn the PowerMac G4 Cube into a block of gold. That was seriously a Steve baby and no amount of Keynote showmanship could turn that PR relations into a good product. I had one. It had the plastic join lines that folks called cracks. It ran as a server across two long-lasting hard drives. I loved that little machine but bad PR killed it. Lessons learned: 1) Jobs didn’t pick/push/bless a winner; 2) Good products DON’T take care of everything else.
    Get off the high horse and give Tim a chance. Steve came back in 1998, and it wasn’t until nine years later that things started taking off.
    Suppose Tim doesn’t have the gift of calling a bad ad shit — He is smart enough to learn from that and promote one of the people in the approval process for those ads who did call it shit.
    Steve built a team. Tim is a team-orient guy — operations requires big teams. Let the team work things out.

  6. When I saw the “Genius”-campaign I wished so many times Apple would continue the “Get a Mac”-Campaign. I never expected this from the same guy.

    1. As MDN posited above, the guy’s success was likely due to having a marketing genius as his editor. Once Steve left the building, Trattner’s true “talent” found its natural level.

    2. Hang on to that thought… as maybe just maybe he was NOT supporting these ads either but got overruled hence exercising his right to take his ball and go home.

      Here is what I am see happening at Apple. SJ ran a tight ship which might of restricted the likes of Cook and others to carry out some of the things that they wanted to do but with SJ now out of the way, they can now have at it and this is causing some issues as this fellow is not the first quality person to leave Apple since Sj’s passing.

  7. Steve did return in 1998, and it was within two quarters that he turned the ship around — not nine years (it was nine years until iPhone arrived, but by then, iPod has already been a runaway hit, as was iTunes Music Store, as well as retail stores).

    Let me also point out, in addition to the G4 Cube, a few more “mistakes” that came out during Jobs, some of which were panned quite vocally by MDN:

    No SDK for the original iPhone (and claiming it was deliberately so)*
    No 3G on the original iPhone (and claiming it was deliberately so)
    Hockey puck mouse (and the subsequent iteration with two nipples on the sides)

    *while I’m sure everyone, from MDN to John Dvorak and other tech writers out there are convinced that iPhone SDK came out due to the public pressure, I have no doubt that Steve had originally planed it only for the second version of the iPhone, but didn’t expect such loud reaction when it wasn’t released right away.

    There are more examples like this, but this just illustrates how much forgiveness we had for Apple when Jobs was there.

    At this point, we don’t really have any valid reasons to be concerned.

  8. I don’t recall Steve Jobs saying, “We messed up”. Maybe he did, anyone?

    What I do recall…

    Antennae-gate – changed the focus point, never admitted anything but, “We put a Target on ours”, Steve Jobs quipped once about Apple’s antennae.

    Price Increase – Way back, during a Keynote, he introduced new products that had to increase by $100 each due to manufacturing costs of CD trays – did he apologize, nope, he just moved on.

    Steve Jobs never aired Apple’s dirty laundry, never went galavanting around the world and US for photo ops for the media, never caved to investors. Would he have left EPEAT only to rejoin it through a press release – He may still have done it, but he would have done it with my style.

    There is only 1 Steve Jobs, Cook is keeping the seat warm for Forstall and trying not to screw things up too bad along the way.

    Apple lost some of its luster the day Steve died, it will never be the same, we all have to accept the Change and hope that Apple’s core remains true to one thing…Making insanely great Products. If they can do that, all the fluff of bad ads, cheap packaging, poor hires will have to be accepted. If their core changes, we are screwed.

  9. So, I see mis-informed (as usual) venting for an audience (deaf eyes).
    Scott, best of luck man. ’bout time you left that slave shop and mingle with “better” paying group and chance to give other clients your POV.
    Did most even think that Apple is a constrictive, over-managed, sweat shop with snarky mindless dregs that feel “we know what you want” is a mantra passed down by a dead, narcissist deity named Jobs?
    Have you ever worked at a creative agency, for over-bearing bosses for uniformed, tasteless clients? Or that you have great ideas and never get more than a check and pat on the back “good jorb team, get back to work” slogan?
    If another agency offered to double my salary and give me free-reign choice of clients (not one but many), there is no loyalty except to your family and yourself.

  10. MDN Take, spot on.

    @SteveJack, hopefully this was a learning experience for Cook. On ad creative, he can’t trust his own judgement. Thankfully we have Ive in hardware. A person I trust as much as Jobs in that regard.

    1. Easy now with Ive doing hardware. Ive does design and 3rd party providers like Samsung, LG, TI etc… develop the tech. Retina Display is nothing unless Samsung, Sharp, LG or Sony can build it. I looked at a Galaxy Note the other day and the display specs almost match the Apple branded retina display.

      Sure Jonny received a Monarchist title but then so did Elton John and most other Brits who do well at something.

      You can dream up anything but you need to be able to parley it into a real functional product and that’s what slows the evolution of technology.

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