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Apple Inc. advertising

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Apple Inc. advertising

1984. The 1990s Think Different campaign linked Apple to famous social figures such as John Lennon and Mahatma Gandhi, while also introducing "Think Different" as a new slogan for the company. Other popular ad campaigns include the 2000s "iPod People", the 2002 Switch campaign, and most recently the Get a Mac campaign which ran from 2006-2009. While the advertisements have been mostly successful, they have also been met with controversy with artists and corporations. For instance, the "iPod People" campaign was criticized for copying a campaign from a shoe company called Lugz. Another instance was when photographer Louie Psihoyos filed suit against Apple for using his "wall of videos" imagery to advertise for Apple TV without his consent.


Page 1 of the 1983 "Macintosh Introduction" brochure published in Newsweek magazine.
A "Macintosh Introduction" 18-page brochure was included with various magazines in December 1983, often remembered because Bill Gates was featured on page 11.[1] For a special post-election edition of Newsweek in November 1984, Apple spent more than $2.5 million to buy all of the advertising pages in the issue (a total of 39).[2]

Apple also ran a "Test Drive a Macintosh" promotion that year, in which potential buyers with a credit card could try a Macintosh for 24 hours and return it to a dealer afterwards.

One ad contrasted the original Macintosh and its simple user brochure to the IBM Personal Computer with its stacks of complicated manuals.

"1984" television commercial: launching the Macintosh

"1984" (directed by Ridley Scott) is the title of the television commercial that launched the Macintosh personal computer in the United States, in January 1984.

The commercial was first aired nationally on January 22, 1984 during a break in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII.[3] The ad showed an unnamed heroine (played by Anya Major) wearing orange shorts, red running shoes, and a white tank top with a Picasso-style picture of Apple's Macintosh computer, running through an Orwellian world to throw a sledgehammer at a TV image of Big Brother — an implied representation of IBM — played by David Graham. The concluding screen showed the message and voice over "On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'." At the end, the Apple "rainbow bitten apple" logo is shown on a black background.


In 1985 the "Lemmings" commercial aired at the Super Bowl.

In 1988 Apple released a short film titled Pencil Test to showcase the Macintosh II's animation capabilities.


When Apple let the Mac become a religious issue more than a tool, the consequence was high visibility and a lot of great press — but also a limited market.

In the 1990s Apple started the "What's on your PowerBook?" campaign, with print ads and television commercials featuring celebrities describing how the PowerBook helps them in their businesses and everyday lives.

During 1995, Apple ran an infomercial called "The Martinetti's Bring Home a Computer" to sell Macintosh computers and promote its Performa line. The infomercial followed the fictional Martinetti family as they brought home their first computer and attempted to convince the father of the family to keep the computer by using it for various educational, business and other household purposes.

In 1995, Apple responded to the introduction of Windows 95 with both print ads and a television commercial.


"Think Different"

"Think Different" was an advertising slogan created by the New York branch office of advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day for Apple Computer during the late 1990s. It was used in a famous television commercial and several print advertisements. The slogan was used at the end of several product commercials, until the advent of Apple's Switch ad campaign. Apple no longer uses the slogan, and its commercials usually end with a silhouetted Apple logo and sometimes a pertinent website address.

Television commercials

Significantly shortened versions of the text were used in two television commercials titled "Crazy Ones".

The one-minute commercial featured black and white video footage of significant historical people of the past, including (in order) Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Feynman, John Lennon, R. Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright, and Picasso.

The thirty-second commercial used many of the same people, but closed with Jerry Seinfeld, instead of the young girl. In order: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon, Martha Graham, Muhammad Ali, Alfred Hitchcock, Mahatma Gandhi, Jim Henson, Maria Callas, Picasso, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Print advertisements

Print advertisements from the campaign were published in many mainstream magazines such as Newsweek and Time. Sometimes these were traditional advertisements, prominently featuring the company's computers or consumer electronics along with the slogan. However, there was also another series of print ads which were more focused on brand image than specific products. They featured a portrait of one of the historic figures shown in the television ad, with a small Apple logo and the words "Think Different" in one corner, with no reference to the company's products.



"Switch" was an advertising campaign launched by Apple on June 10, 2002. "The Switcher" was a term conjured by Apple, it refers to a person who changes from using the Microsoft Windows platform to the Mac. These ads featured what the company referred to as "real people" who had "switched". An international television and print ad campaign directed users to a website where various myths about the Mac platform were dispelled.


Apple has promoted the iPod and iTunes with several advertising campaigns, particularly with their silhouette commercials used both in print and on TV. These commercials feature people as dark silhouettes, dancing to music against bright-colored backgrounds. The silhouettes hold their iPods which are shown in distinctive white. The TV advertisements have used a variety of songs from both mainstream and relatively unknown artists, whilst some commercials have featured silhouettes of specific artists including Bob Dylan, U2, Eminem, Jet, The Ting Tings, Yael Naïm, CSS, Caesars, and Wynton Marsalis. Successive TV commercials have also used increasingly complex animation. Newer techniques included using textured backgrounds, 3D arenas, and photo-realistic lighting on the silhouette characters. The "iPod nano - Completely Remastered," series of ads for the 2nd generation iPod nano have a totally different design. The background is totally black. The colored iPod nanos shine light and glow, showing some of the dancers, holding the iPod nanos while a luminescent light trail made by moving iPod nanos. This is to display the fact that the 2nd generation iPod nanos are colored. The silhouette commercials are a family of commercials in a similar style that form part of the advertising campaign to promote the iPod, Apple's portable digital music player.

"Get a Mac"

The two characters from the ads who personify a Windows PC (left, John Hodgman) and a Mac PC (Justin Long).

In 2006, Apple released a series of twenty-four "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" advertisements as part of their "Get a Mac" campaign. The campaign officially ended in 2010.

The ads, which are directed by Phil Morrison, star actor Justin Long (Accepted) and author and humorist John Hodgman (The Daily Show) as a Macintosh (Mac) PC and a Windows PC, respectively.

Since the launch of the original ads, similar commercials have appeared in Japan and the UK. While they use the same form and music as the American ads, the actors are specific to those countries.

The UK ads feature famous comedy duo Mitchell and Webb; David Mitchell as the Windows PC and Robert Webb as the Mac PC. The Japanese ones are played by Rahmens, with Jin Katagiri as the Windows PC and Kentarō Kobayashi as the Mac PC.

In April 2009, Justin Long revealed that the "Get A Mac" commercials "might be done".[5] In May 2010, the "Get A Mac" was officially ended and the web pages began to redirect to a new "Why You'll Love Mac" page with more features on the Macintosh hardware and software.[6]

Genius ads

Apple debuted a new series of ads produced by TBWA\Media Arts Lab during television broadcasts of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. The ads portrayed people in everyday situations being assisted by an employee from the company's Genius Bars. The ads were widely criticized, with some, including former TBWA\Chiat\Day creative director Ken Segall remarking that it portrayed Apple customers as clueless.[7][8][9] The ads stopped airing after two weeks, with some reports claiming that they were only intended for a short run.[9] The spots were subsequently removed from both Apple's official website and YouTube channel.[8]


Apple's advertising has come under criticism for allegedly copying other creative works and for inaccurate depictions of product functionality. A 2005 iPod campaign starring rapper Eminem, called "Detroit" was criticized for being similar to a previous campaign for Lugz boots.[10] Lugz subsequently sent Apple a cease and desist letter to stop running the iPod ad.[11]

Artist Christian Marclay denied Apple the rights to his 1995 short film "Telephones" to market their iPhone, but then decided against filing suit when Apple ran a similar ad during the 2007 Academy Awards broadcast.[12]

In July 2007, Colorado-based photographer Louie Psihoyos filed suit against Apple for ripping his "wall of videos" imagery to advertise for Apple TV. Apple had allegedly been negotiating with Psihoyos for rights to the imagery, but backed out and promptly used the imagery anyway.[13]

More recently, Apple has been criticized for its iPhone ads, which depict much faster network speeds than are realistically possible on current 3G network infrastructure, although they do include a disclaimer explaining that fact. In August 2008, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK had banned one iPhone ad from further broadcast in its current form due to "misleading claims". The ASA took issue with the ads' claim that "all parts of the internet are on the iPhone", when the device does not support Java or Flash.[14] The newer iPhone ads show a caption, 'Sequence Shortened' at the beginning.

In 2012 Apple risked being fined millions of dollars in Australia for persistently branding its 2012 iPad as being 4G capable even though the iPad is not compatible with Australia's 4G network. Despite offering to refund customers for all iPads sold in Australia the iPad will still be branded "WiFi + 4G" and consequently, the matter will be proceeding to a full trial in court.[15] Apple Inc. has agreed to pay A$2.25 million penalty for misleading Australian customers about its iPad being 4G capable.[16]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Pogue, David; Joseph Schorr (1993). Macworld Macintosh SECRETS. San Mateo: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. p. 251.  
  4. ^ Piller, Charles (Feb 1994). "Macintosh Mystique". MacWorld: 112–120. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ Hof, Robert (July 30, 2012). "Viewers Give Apple's 'Genius' Olympic Ads A 'D' For Dumb". Forbes. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Foresman, Chris (August 22, 2012). "The Apple 'Genius' Ads Everyone Hated Are Over". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Parekh, Rupta; Diaz, Ann-Christine (August 7, 2012). "The Apple 'Genius' Ads Everyone Hated Are Over". Advertising Age. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ Elliot, Stuart (October 25, 2005). "Is Imitation Flattery, Theft or Just Coincidence?". New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Furman, Phyllis (November 5, 2005). "Lugz Wants Apple To Cut Copycat Ad". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^ "Apple Faces Two Lawsuits for Alleged Copyright Violations".  
  14. ^ "Apple iPhone ad banned in the UK due to "misleading" claims". AppleInsider. 
  15. ^ Frith, David (April 3, 2012). "Apple courts trouble with iPad's 4G claim".  
  16. ^ "'"Apple to pay $2.22 mn fine for 'misleading ad. The Times Of India. June 8, 2012. 

External links

  • The Macintosh Marketing Campaign
  • Macintosh Television Advertising Over Thirty Years

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