Apple sues Swatch over its ‘Tick Different’ marketing campaign

“Apple has filed a complaint in a Swiss court over the use of the slogan ‘Tick Different’ in a Swatch marketing campaign, arguing that the watchmaker is unfairly referencing the Californian company’s successful 1990s ‘Think Different’ ad campaign for its own gain,” Tim Hardwick reports for MacRumors.

“Swatch has been using the ‘Tick Different’ slogan on its Bellamy quartz wristwatch with built-in NFC Visa payment technology,” Hardwick reports. “According to Watson, in order to successfully win the case Apple must show that Swatch’s use of the phrase triggers an association with Apple products in the minds of at least 50 percent of consumers.”


Swatch's delusional CEO Nick Hayek wearing some yellow piece of shit on his wrist
Swatch’s delusional CEO Nick Hayek wearing some yellow piece of shit on his wrist
“Swatch CEO Nick Hayek has reportedly rejected the allegation that it is capitalizing on Apple branding,” Hardwick reports.”Hayek claimed that the ‘Tick Different’ slogan has its origins in an 80s Swatch campaign that used the phrase “Always different, always new”, and says that any similarity with Apple is purely coincidental.”

Read more in the full article here.


MacDailyNews Take: Swatch’s increasingly delusional and desperate CEO Nick Hayek is reacting poorly to being steamrolled by Apple. It’s always interesting to see how they react when they finally wake up and realize they’re the next Palm. For some, obviously, accepting that they need to begin preparing for the next phase of their lives is tougher than bathing in a warm puddle of self-delusion.

Swatch’s “Tick different” marketing imagery:

Swatch: Tick different

Apple’s iconic, trademarked “Think different” slogan:
Apple's trademarked "Think different" slogan

Swatch looks to take on Apple with homegrown watch operating system – March 16, 2017
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: Pebble is dead – December 7, 2016
Swatch issues dire profit warning, stock plummets to lowest point in over 6 years – July 15, 2016
Thanks to Apple Watch, smartwatches are now more popular than Swiss watches – February 19, 2016
As Apple Watch sales ramp, Swiss watch makers suffer biggest slump in six years – November 19, 2015
Swiss watch makers in deep shit, as Apple Watch designer Jony Ive predicted – October 23, 2015
Swiss watch exports post biggest quarterly export drop since 2009 – October 20, 2015
Apple Watch: Swatch CEO whistles past the graveyard – March 18, 2015
Swatch co-inventor: Apple Watch will succeed and an ice age is coming for Swiss watch industry – March 10, 2015
Old school watch makers don’t get Apple Watch – September 12, 2014
Apple makes roadkill of deer-in-the-headlights CEOs – April 1, 2011


    1. I disagree. Anyone who was alive and old enough in 1997 will very well remember the Think Different campaign. Over the past twenty years, the grammatically questionable slogan has been dissected and paraphrased by many, and in every one of those instances, it was a clear and unambiguous that it was a reference to the Apple’s iconic campaign.

      What Swatch is trying to do is co-opt the slogan and make it theirs; and when they get called for it, they double down, claiming coincidence.

      Take a random survey of people 40 year old and older (those who were adults when the original campaign launched) and ask them what the Swatch campaign reminds them of. If you ask Americans (or Britons), vast majority will tell you Apple (or Mac). Hell, if you just ask them about “Tick Different”, without showing any images or connections to Swatch, most will likely even say it was Apple’s campaign.

      While the campaign is now twenty years old, Swatch is not some no-name Chinese knock-off company. This is quite low for them.

  1. 2015 Bloomberg

    Elmar Mock co inventor of Swatch speaking about Apple Watch:

    ““Anything in the price range of 500 francs to 1,000 francs is really in danger,” said Mock, speaking by phone from Biel, Switzerland. “I do expect an Ice Age coming toward us.”

  2. How many more recent Apple ad campaigns will people still be talking about or arguing over like Think Different, 1984 etc?

    The newest ads like the Watch etc aren’t bad but Jobs ad campaigns often went viral, were discussed in press (1984 was talked about in TIME etc and studied today years later in advertising classes ) . The ads went into popular consciousness (each marketing dollar multiplied by free publicity in the press etc).

    They say that next to Ive’s lab, Jobs spent the most time with the marketing folks going through each ad late into the night. (btw the million dollar glass staircase etc in the stores were also Jobs MARKETING tools ).

    Ken Segall today an Apple pundit was creative director at Apple under Jobs. He recounted his first meeting with Jobs where Jobs said most his portfolio was generally good but some were ‘shit’. Jobs then calmly continued the conversation. Segall said Jobs was absolutely right and he wasn’t trying to be rude but he had no time for false politeness and just wanted to get to the crux of things …

  3. Have to disagree with MDN and many posters that I value their opinions.

    “Tick Different” is SMART advertising strategy for a one-man band watch company.

    If it somehow reminds people of Apple’s brilliant ad campaign in the 1990s, free association (me too) advertising, all the better for Apple. Certainly and clearly it does not affect Apple negatively — not one atomic particle.

    As to violating copyright laws, I have no idea how courts will rule in Apple’s favor and grant damages to the richest company on planet Earth. The words are clever different, not violating existing trademarks as far as I know and apply to a small WATCH company for crying out loud! This guilt by association is just that — 🐂💩!

    Touchy Tim is in a snit because the Apple Watch was his NEW APPLE PRODUCT BABY. Bottom line: That is what this is ALL about.

    Get back to making the best Macs the world has ever seen …

      1. Now that you mention it, certainly parallel construction.

        I suspect they are all one in the same. Borrow here and change a few things there to avoid the copyright or is it trademark lawyers.

        Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery …

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