“Apple Inc. has shifted to producing more of its own television advertisements instead of relying on agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, underscoring how the longtime partnership responsible for the company’s most memorable ads is fraying,” Peter Burrows reports for Bloomberg.
“An Apple team made the iPad Air ad last year that highlighted the device’s thinness, as well as a spot this year with Robin Williams quoting from the film “Dead Poets Society” and other ads airing now, said Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple. The internal team includes at least two people Apple hired away from Media Arts Lab, a TBWA unit that only serves the iPhone maker, people with knowledge of the matter said,” Burrows reports. “A rift between Apple and TBWA\Chiat\Day, which worked together on the company’s Orwellian Super Bowl ad in 1984, once would have been unthinkable, said Regis McKenna, a technology marketing consultant who introduced agency founder Jay Chiat to Steve Jobs in the early 1980s.”
“Apple began creating the ads in-house a few months after marketing chief Phil Schiller considered ending the company’s relationship with Media Arts Lab in January 2013, according to an e-mail from Schiller disclosed in April as part of a lawsuit with Samsung Electronics Co. Media Arts Lab had created iconic Apple campaigns for iPods and Macs, yet Schiller wrote that it hadn’t effectively countered Samsung ads that cast Apple as stodgy and poked fun at its installed base as cultish and geeky,” Burrows reports. “‘If we need to do this, we should get going,’ Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook responded at the time to a message from Schiller about possibly needing to change agencies.”
“Instead of ending the relationship entirely, Apple began building up its own team,” Burrows reports. “The partnership’s effectiveness had started to wane after Jobs’s death in 2011. While Samsung’s cheeky ads took aim at Apple’s brand image, Apple tried a variety of campaigns that failed to win accolades, including spots for its Siri voice-recognition service featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel, and a short-lived campaign about the lives of Apple geniuses.”
“People with knowledge of the partnership said that Vincent had been an effective translator of Jobs’s wishes to his team. Vincent has been less successful at coming up with ideas that pleased Schiller, who frustrated the agency with his lack of a clear vision, the people said. Apple’s decision to create its own ads may be a result of the company’s own issues in filling the creative vacuum left by Jobs’s death, said Edward Boches, a professor of advertising at Boston University,” Burrows reports. “‘More often than not, great ads come from a single confident decision maker making gut calls, not from someone with a paid title,’ he said. ‘This could be a reflection of a customer that doesn’t know what they want, or doesn’t know how to make a decision.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote in March 2013:
Steve Jobs held a three-hour meeting every Wednesday afternoon with his top agency, marketing and communications people to approve each new commercial, print ad, web ad, and billboard. Does Tim Cook? If he does, does he have anything close to Jobs’ sensibilities in this area? Judging from Apple’s marketing since Steve left the building, he does not. Therefore, Cook needs to find a marketing guru to take Steve’s place, conduct these Wednesday meetings, and hold his marketing peoples’ feet to the fire until he/she is extremely satisfied.
As Apple CEO, Steve Jobs focused on two things – product design and marketing. He was a genius at both. His talents cannot be replaced with one person. In fact, his talents in either discipline cannot be replaced by one person. Jony Ive and Phil Schiller without Jobs cannot be expected to perform as if Jobs was still working with them.
A team of people – talented people who actually get it and who are all on the same page – is an absolute necessity for Apple’s success, but it creates a problem: Jobs was a single filter. A unified mind. The founder. A group of people simply cannot replicate that. This is not to say that they cannot do great work (we believe Apple does, and will continue, to do great work) just that Apple is fundamentally affected by the loss of Steve Jobs and has to figure out a new way to work.
Apple debuts ‘Chicken Fat’ television ad (with video) – June 5, 2014
Emails show Phil Schiller shocked over Apple’s ad agency suggestions – April 8, 2014
Apple’s advertising dilemma aired at $2 billion trial – April 4, 2014
Samsung again mocks Apple customers in iPhone 5 queue via new Galaxy S III ad (with video) – September 19, 2012
Apple pulls ‘Genius’ ad series from its website, YouTube channel – August 22, 2012
Samsung runs print ad attacking Apple’s iPhone 5 in major U.S. newspapers – September 16, 2012
Samsung Super Bowl ad mocks Apple iPhone users – February 6, 2012
Could the Apple-TBWA love affair, one of advertising’s most-storied matchups, survive without Jobs? – January 24, 2011