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Apple advertising guru says he's 'not going anywhere'

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Lee Clow, chairman of advertising agency TBWA and creator of numerous iconic Apple advertisements, has said he intends to continue working with the Mac maker.

Last week, Clow was alleged to be relinquishing his role as the head of TBWA, as well as his involvement in Apple advertisements. The misunderstanding stemmed from the fact that Duncan Milner has taken Clow's role as chief creative officer of TBWA/Media Arts Lab. In response, Clow refuted the reports.

Clow reportedly sent the following e-mail, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider to employees at his agency:

So we tried to promote Duncan Milner because of the great job he's been doing leading the Media Arts Lab and look at how the blogosphere decided to make it a conversation about me.

As you all know, I'm here every day meddling in everything that goes on, pushing the creative on many brands including keeping an eye on Apple.

I remain Chairman of MAL, Global Creative Director of Media Arts and Chief Creative Officer of TBWA Worldwide.

I'm not going anywhere.

Love, Lee
Clow, 66, has a storied career in the world of advertising, and many of his most noteworthy accomplishments are tied to Apple. Perhaps his best-known work was behind the iconic "1984" TV spot that heralded the introduction of the Macintosh computer. The Ridley Scott-directed 60-second commercial aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVII on Jan. 22, 1984. It was made for a budget of $900,000 and is considered to be a masterpiece in advertising.

Clow and TBWA were also the minds behind Apple's "Think Different" campaign, the silhouette iPod advertisements, and the "Get a Mac" ads featuring actors John Hodgman as a PC and Justin Long as the Mac. Other memorable campaigns over his 40-year career include the creation of the Energizer Bunny and the Taco Bell Chihuahua.
post #2 of 78
Mr. Clow, please convince SJ/Cook to put the "I am a Mac/PC" series to bed. It was quite funny and edgy originally, but it's getting long (no pun intended) in the tooth.

Glad you're not going anywhere. I am sure you have the next one up your sleeve - can't wait to see it!
post #3 of 78
Balloon boy V. 2.0
post #4 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Mr. Clow, please convince SJ/Cook to put the "I am a Mac/PC" series to bed. It was quite funny and edgy originally, but it's getting long (no pun intended) in the tooth.

Won't happen, because the campaign is now so powerful and iconic that the competition has picked up on it (clumsily) for their own ads, which feature 'ordinary people' calling themselves PCs. You simply DO NOT replace a campaign that effective. And they won't, because they (unlike you) understand the nature of advertising.

Which is to say: Doesn't matter (not even slightly) if the public says they're sick of it. What matters is (1) that people notice it, and (2) that the ads, in fact, have allowed Apple to control the nature of the conversation. That's powerful stuff, reminiscent of the old Hertz/Avis campaigns. Avis was a distant Number Two to Hertz' Number One. (Same as Apple's relationship to MS.) Hertz even had an iconic campaign: 'Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat', with a catchy jingle. Avis came out with a 'We Try Harder' message that had such an impact, Hertz put their famous campaign aside and began responding in kind.

In other words, the other guy blinked. When that happens, you've won. (Even if you remain "Number Two", as Avis did and Apple has.) This is the most effective campaign Apple has EVER run, and one of the most effective in advertising history. It ain't going away anytime soon.
post #5 of 78
How embarrassing!
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Mr. Clow, please convince SJ/Cook to put the "I am a Mac/PC" series to bed. It was quite funny and edgy originally, but it's getting long (no pun intended) in the tooth.

I agree with Mister Snitch. You dont gracefully retire marketing. You beat every last potential sale out you can get out of it. These ads are relatively cheap and easy to make and appear to provide high returns.

I understand what you are saying and they do seem a bit smug, but I will admit that I do go to Apples site to watch the newest ones when they come out. I do also find them entertaining.

Also, I dont think replacing the ads in the holiday quarter is a smart move. When they do retire, theyll likely integrate a new ad to see how it works first, unless Justin Long gets arrested for something heinous, then we might see the whole series dropped immediately.
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post #7 of 78
No mention of Chiat/Day, and the slashes are the wrong way around. Nice.
post #8 of 78
< *blink*
post #9 of 78
Am I the only one that thinks the Get a Mac campaign is getting old? Sure it was innovative in 2006 when it came out...Given Microsoft did sort of copy it, which means it must have been good...
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree with Mister Snitch. You don’t gracefully retire marketing. You beat every last potential sale out you can get out of it. These ads are relatively cheap and easy to make and appear to provide high returns.

I understand what you are saying and they do seem a bit smug, but I will admit that I do go to Apple’s site to watch the newest ones when they come out. I do also find them entertaining.

Also, I don’t think replacing the ads in the holiday quarter is a smart move. When they do retire, they’ll likely integrate a new ad to see how it works first, unless Justin Long gets arrested for something heinous, then we might see the whole series dropped immediately.

The ads work. It's just that simple. Apple is Maser of the attack ad, and they should keep exploiting that advantage to the fullest, and Phil Schiller should keep saying "it's still Windows, it's still Windows." There is only ONE tech company that knows how to plant something into the public consciosness and run with it, and that's Apple.
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Mr. Clow, please convince SJ/Cook to put the "I am a Mac/PC" series to bed. It was quite funny and edgy originally, but it's getting long (no pun intended) in the tooth.

Not to mention increasingly negative and ineffective now that Microsoft Windows 7 actually works and they are running such positive ads themselves.
Justin Long needs to get his own career going as well.
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Won't happen, because the campaign is now so powerful and iconic that the competition has picked up on it (clumsily) for their own ads, which feature 'ordinary people' calling themselves PCs. You simply DO NOT replace a campaign that effective. And they won't, because they (unlike you) understand the nature of advertising.

Which is to say: Doesn't matter (not even slightly) if the public says they're sick of it. What matters is (1) that people notice it, and (2) that the ads, in fact, have allowed Apple to control the nature of the conversation. That's powerful stuff, reminiscent of the old Hertz/Avis campaigns. Avis was a distant Number Two to Hertz' Number One. (Same as Apple's relationship to MS.) Hertz even had an iconic campaign: 'Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat', with a catchy jingle. Avis came out with a 'We Try Harder' message that had such an impact, Hertz put their famous campaign aside and began responding in kind.

In other words, the other guy blinked. When that happens, you've won. (Even if you remain "Number Two", as Avis did and Apple has.) This is the most effective campaign Apple has EVER run, and one of the most effective in advertising history. It ain't going away anytime soon.

HA-HA! made my day. Is it April 1st or November 1st???

Most effective campaign ever? What from 7% to 10% with a bomb Vista added to the mix. Puh-leeze! ENUFF of these stupid ads.
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post

Am I the only one that thinks the Get a Mac campaign is getting old? Sure it was innovative in 2006 when it came out...Given Microsoft did sort of copy it, which means it must have been good...

It is totally tired. Only was effective because Vista was part of the mix. They don't work anymore and look embarrassingly negative.
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It is totally tired. Only was effective because Vista was part of the mix. They don't work anymore and look embarrassingly negative.

They don't work? Based on what? Your numbers for Apple's next quarter that hasn't happened yet?

Because last I checked Apple was posting record numbers and Mac sales were never better. That kind of performance was unheard of in this economy. Apple owns the Premium market. Today. As in right now.

Can I play with your time machine too? I gotta try it. Maybe if I go 10 years into the future WinMo will be the #1 platform!
post #15 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Attack ads never work with anything, even in politics people hate attack ads.

I don't know much about whether/how these ads work for consumer products, but you are clueless when it comes to its effectiveness in politics - people may profess to hate it, but it works in politics.
post #16 of 78
... .... ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

attack ads never work with anything,

except when apple does them.


even in politics people hate attack ads.

politics. Apple's attack ads aren't against a person. They're against a product. It's much less personal. It's a moot point anyway because apple's ads have been working.

windows 7 is expected to sell 40million copies by the end of the year in half the time it too apple to sell 5 million copies of sl.

so? Is that supposed to be news? No kidding. Ms has always sold more copies of windows than apple did of os x. Windows runs on everything. Ms goes for the bottom end of the retail pyramid, which is always going to be the widest. As it stands now, ms has virtually no presence in the premium end because apple stole it with extreme prejudice, by simply making a better product and actually giving a damn about hardware+software experience. .

Also after launching new hardware apple stock went up and then dropped like a rock 10% the following week.

that drop wasn't due to anything apple did. Look it up. It was already covered in the forums. Oh wait . . . You don't look anything up. Sorry.

let me ask you this, when the was the last time you went out and made a fairly major purchase based on something you saw on tv? When you watch the superbowl do you ever feel the need to go out and buy 50 cases of beer and take it home in your new gmc truck?

so let's just do away with tv advertising altogether, because in your estimation they don't work.
post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Most effective campaign ever? What from 7% to 10%.....

That is a 43% gain in share, and a much higher number in units in a growing market (if your numbers are correct). It is HUGELY effective, even if partly attributable to the ads.

On the larger point of market share, we've been through it before: it's better to sell 10 units for a profit of $9 each, than 89 units for a profit of $1 each. Moreover, on top of the profitability, in the $1000+ category, Apple's share is massive (in the 80%+ range?). Additionally, the company ain't doing too badly in the PMP segment (75% share) or in the smartphone segment where it's profits are higher than those of the next three largest cellphone producers combined, if I remember some recent analysis correctly (I could fish out the cite if needed, but it was on AI a couple of months ago).
post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

They don't work? Based on what? Your numbers for Apple's next quarter that hasn't happened yet?

Gotta love how he ignores the fact that Apple is PC company but chooses to only compare the OS marketshare, as if that is relevant. Who does he think hes fooling? Then e pretend to not know that Apple now sells more than 2x as many Macs as they prior to the ads emergence.
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post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

HA-HA! made my day. Is it April 1st or November 1st???

Most effective campaign ever? What from 7% to 10% with a bomb Vista added to the mix. Puh-leeze! ENUFF of these stupid ads.

Teck, use your head, seriously. Apple operates in the Premium end - meaning not everyone will be able to afford a Mac, and Apple doesn't license their OS out to everyone and their dog (read: junk-box makers.) Apple themselves have made their position on this very clear, conference call after conference call.

Apple own the market segment in which it operates and leads the industry in innovation. Everyone wants to be Apple, not in the least because Apple's found a way to thrive during a recession and leads the industry in growth, year over year. You don't get that by accident.

If you've come back just to troll, then at least troll different.
post #20 of 78
the good the bad and the ugly, if that's what it takes so be it.
post #21 of 78
I think it would help if more people used DVRs. They are sanity protection devices. Far too many ads are overused, loud, overly busy or whatever, if you've already seen the ad, skip it. DVRs also free you from a fixed schedule if you want to follow a particular show, watch when you're ready, not whenever the network decides to play it.
post #22 of 78
... ... ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

attack ads never work even when apple does them. There is no data to indicated that apple ads work for anything.

in the presence of apple's record quarters, including record mac sales and history-making results, there exists no data suggesting apple should stop them, either. But hey, we'll all tke your word for it because apple is doing so poorly these days.

Apple doesn't need ms to do poorly for apple to well. Thats that big myth that ms and apple compete.

so? What are you trying to say?

there interesting thing about the stock drop is apple reports record earning, intros new products and the stock drops 10%. Explain that one. Where is your link for that?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1345859/

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...t_12367713.htm

motorola dropped, google dropped, palm dropped microsoft dropped . . . Nearly everyone was affected.

i have never meet a person that is so bitter over an in-animate object like computer software or hardware. Did someone in ms like run over your dog or something? Not sure where the anger comes from where you want to see a company fail so badly.

keep on topic. Not sure why you continue to camp an apple fansite despite getting nowhere, either. The emotionally-laden questioning can go both ways.

if the only way apple can do well is for ms to do poorly then they need to make some changes.

i'm not sure anyone here suggested that. Where are you getting that from?

its also hard to understand why someone that doesnt even use ms products has such an issue with them.

most of us here use ms crap every day. Many of us have switched. All of us have had to deal with ms one way or another throughout most of our lives. I was a windows user (home system) from may 2002 to april 2006, not that it matters. It's just one example of many. And windows is a pervasive presence in the workplace.

Are you just about done now, or would you like to go on getting owned in this thread?
post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Its not about ignoring anything. If you have some kind of data that shows Apple ads have directly contributed to sales then lets see it. Attack ads do not work they only make a company look weak and the #1 rule in advertising is never directly talk about your competitor it does notthing but give them free advertising.

Only a mindless fool would make a major purchase based on something they see on tv.

1) You have to very thin skinned to use such a strong word as attacking if an ad compares itself favourably to other products.

2) Not only does it work, and its very common in advertising. Even such phrases as the others dont. when a company is trying to separate themselves from numerous competitors.

3) MS has done the same thing with their PC hunter ads. Not as successful, but not bad ads either. The problem with them is that arent iconic, arent relatable and ultimately forgettable.

4) As for free advertising, I dont think theyve mention MS by name. Also, they didnt once mention Windows, only PC until Vista launched as was such a marketing failure. Once that happened mentioning how you are better than your competition was a good move. Did they kick MS when they were down, sure, but its marketing, you take any and all opportunities you can.

5) If Apple didnt feel they were working do you think they would continue to use them? Of course not. They do market research. The terms "Im a Mac" and "Theres an App for That are well known now, even outside of the Apple forums and by non-iPhone/Touch users.

6) Seeing a single Get A Mac" probably hasnt made anyone jump on the net and order a Mac without further consideration, but that isnt the point of the ad, especially one that doesnt even show the product until the very last second. The point is to peak an interest. a grain of sand in an oyster, if you will. That is how successful advertising works. I have argued that the Apple Stores are the single most important move by Apple to obtain switchers as it allows for direct usage and testing of the HW and SW, and a chance to ask questions.

7) If anyone here doesnt understand why the most well known brands in the world still spend Billions on advertising then any discussion about marketing is moot until the fundamentals of how sales work is understood.
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post #24 of 78
... .. ..


Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

its not about ignoring anything. If you have some kind of data that shows apple ads have directly contributed to sales then lets see it. Attack ads do not work they only make a company look weak and the #1 rule in advertising is never directly talk about your competitor it does notthing but give them free advertising.

http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/ar...fit/1255985794

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ence_call.html

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/21/tra...ing-apple.html

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...56005c7997.dtl

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/10/19/...-quarter-ever/

there's about a thousand similar news items abot that for your enjoyment and edification.

So much for "weak."

when you post, are you aware of what you're typing? Because it appears you're in some other reality where people have no contact with the world beyond a 2 foot radius.


only a mindless fool would make a major purchase based on something they see on tv.

again . . . Let's stop tv ads altogether because you claim they don't work. Oh wait, you claimed only "mindless fools" would make major purchases based on them. Better tell microsoft while you're at it. Actaully, you just might be right about their laptop losers campaign. It didn't work. Except maybe with "mindless fools."
post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Actually attack ad poll very poorly. Dr Frank Luntz who has worked alot in polling has a pretty good book on this matter.

Please read what I wrote. "Polling very poorly" (people getting sanctimonious) is not the same as "ineffective" (how they vote).

There is a well-documented difference between 'saying' and 'doing.'
post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it would help if more people used DVRs. They are sanity protection devices. Far too many ads are overused, loud, overly busy or whatever, if you've already seen the ad, skip it. DVRs also free you from a fixed schedule if you want to follow a particular show, watch when you're ready, not whenever the network decides to play it.

Wouldn't we have the ultimate product if @TV could also act as a DVR...... c'mon Apple....
post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wouldn't we have the ultimate product if @TV could also act as a DVR...... c'mon Apple....

As you know its more than adding the features we want. I would love, but I think that it would interfere with the ITS video rentals. It might be a problem for the studios and may even be in contracts that they wont offer DVR capabilities to their products. Id have that written up if it were my studio wanting to sell on iTS.
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post #28 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

... motorola dropped, google dropped, palm dropped microsoft dropped . . . Nearly everyone was affected. ..

You're exactly right. Apple has dropped about 8% from peak in the past couple of weeks. This during a period when the NASDAQ itself has fallen by 6%. (Also, as I've mentioned elsewhere, Apple's stock seemed to be trading ahead of its fundamentals anyway, so this is perhaps some reversion to sanity).

All that said, I am coming around to the view that it's pointless to confront some folks on this Forum with actual data or logic.
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Actually attack ad poll very poorly. Dr Frank Luntz who has worked alot in polling has a pretty good book on this matter.

Apple Inc., who has worked a lot in breaking sales records, making financial history (in a recession), despite cheaper, allegedly "higher value" options, has a great deal of experience in this matter.

Do you actually think the average consumer Apple targets feels insulted that Apple is trashing MS??? Do you think the average person feels sorry for *companies*, or that they'll find Apple's ads objectionable or ethically wrong??? Are you that out of touch? ROFL, Apple isn't attacking Roosevelt's dog Fala, or an actual *person*! Do you think people find attacks on MICROSOFT, one of the most hated companies in all of tech - a *convicted* monopoly abuser, responsible for so much data loss over the years it's not even quantifiable, due in part to their virus-ridden, blue-screening garbage operating systems, to be objectionable? They barely care about the good ones, so they're going to somehow waste even a second considering it when it comes to, of all companies, MS?? Only on fansites on the ass-end of the net. And in the grand scheme of things we don't amount to much.

Who the hell on the couch during prime time TV is going to feel sorry for a company or stand up and object to tech-related attack ads?

No one actually cares that much. Don't kid yourself. At worst, the viewer won't even pay attention to the ads. At best, they'll find them amusing, and perhaps amusing enough to get them into an Apple Store. That's more than enough reason to keep them running and squeeze every last penny out of them. Because the only one talking boldly about Windows - what most people use - is Apple.
post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I would love, but I think that it would interfere with the ITS video rentals. It might be a problem for the studios and may even be in contracts that they wont offer DVR capabilities to their product.

Yet, cable companies seem to offer this service?
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

All that said, I am coming around to the view that it's pointless to confront some folks on this Forum with actual data or logic.

Just the trolls, anant, just the trolls.
post #32 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It is totally tired. Only was effective because Vista was part of the mix. They don't work anymore and look embarrassingly negative.

to be honest, those first ads which would have Mac talk about iLife and how much Macs are more fun than PCs sold it for me and I switched. So you know what, from first hand experience, they work.

Most non geek non mac users would find these ads work
post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yet, cable companies seem to offer this service?

It’s a completely different business model with a completely different design.

For starters, those DVR appliances from cable companies don’t allow you to offload the content. if you are going to do this, TiVo is much better and easier.

Second, if you can record it on your Apple DVR then the average customer would also expect you to be able to move it between your Mac, and iDevices like you can with content had through iTS. Besides this simply not going to be allowed, most cable companies use MPEG-2, which no iDevice can play and which no Mac natively supports. Do they still that $20 MPEG-2 codec at the Apple Store for Macs?

It would be cool, and if you want it with Mac OS X there are options, but there are just to many hurdles for a company like Apple. Don’t me wrong, they have the money and capability to do, but it doesn’t look advantageous for them to pursue it. Like Blu-ray, I’m sure Apple will never add it to the AppleTV.

Then there is cost for a DVR with dual tuners than can take in 2x MPEG-2 HD streams while playing a third from the HDD or streaming from another source. And what if someone already has another DVR that they want to use. Apple would have to differentiate the line yet they want one simple internet appliance for the home theater.
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post #34 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Actually attack ad poll very poorly. Dr Frank Luntz who has worked alot in polling has a pretty good book on this matter.

For you yankies how about "where's the beef?"
post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by samanjj View Post

For you yankies how about "where's the beef?"

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I'm only in my 20s and even I know that's from Wendy's. And yes, it did spark interest in trying a burger from Wendy's long ago.... ever since then I've preferred Wendy's to the golden arches.
post #36 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by samanjj View Post

For you yankies how about "where's the beef?"

RIP that grumpy old lady. One of the best ad campaigns ever!
post #37 of 78
thread moved
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

OMG!! iPhone FLOPS IN CHINA!!




http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj

1) This is a surprise, how?

2) What does this have to do with Lee Clow? (Please find the appropriate thread, before hijacking this one; thanks).
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Teck, use your head, seriously. Apple operates in the Premium end - meaning not everyone will be able to afford a Mac, and Apple doesn't license their OS out to everyone and their dog (read: junk-box makers.) Apple themselves have made their position on this very clear, conference call after conference call.

Apple own the market segment in which it operates and leads the industry in innovation. Everyone wants to be Apple, not in the least because Apple's found a way to thrive during a recession and leads the industry in growth, year over year. You don't get that by accident.

If you've come back just to troll, then at least troll different.

You really think these ads appeal to premium buyers? And you're asking me to use MY head?
Success of iPods , iPhones, flop of Vista, and switching to Intel has boosted Apple, not those ads. They are entertaining but also obnoxious. Apple could do a lot better.
And on another note, thank god Apple has dropped- "there's an App for that" ads - made my blood curl listening to that voice.
post #40 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

1) This is a surprise, how?

2) What does this have to do with Lee Clow? (Please find the appropriate thread, before hijacking this one; thanks).

You don't take that seriously- please tell me you don't. It's much to early to determine that result.
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