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Ad firm TBWA\Chiat\Day reportedly at odds with style of Apple's Phil Schiller

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
Apple and the creatives behind its memorable "1984" ad have embarked on a new direction in the company's marketing, but a new report says there's dissent in the Apple advertising camp over marketing chief Phillip Schiller's leadership style.



Despite the generally positive press reception for Apple's most recent ads, a report in Businessweek contends that some personnel within TBWA\Media Arts Lab ? which works exclusively with Apple on its advertising ? are dissatisfied with Schiller's handling of Apple's advertising efforts. Schiller, who took the ad reins in the wake of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs' death, has shown "less clarity" in what Apple's ads should convey, according to sources.

Apple's current marketing chief retained some of the policies that Jobs implemented in the ad process, those sources say. Schiller, for instance, still gives approval to potential ads based on nearly TV-ready productions instead of relying on storyboards.

But Schiller doesn't appear to command the same respect Jobs did. Whereas Jobs' word on ads was final, the report holds, Media Arts Lab personnel are said to be frustrated when Schiller nixes an ad idea.

Under Schiller's leadership, Apple's ad strategy has seemed to shift once every few months. Last summer, the company rolled out a new "Genius" campaign with a high-energy Apple Genius helping users through simple Mac problems in different locations. Those ads, though also made by TBWA, were widely panned, and Apple pulled the campaign shortly after its debut.

More recently, Apple tweaked its iPad advertising, moving away from the understated tone of prior campaigns and giving an energetic overview of the app ecosystem. These fast-paced spots, dubbed "Alive" and "Together," appear to have given way to spots like the quieter "Photos Every Day," "Music Every Day," and "Designed by Apple in California."

The latter debuted at Monday's Worldwide Developer Conference following the unveiling of iOS 7 and Mac OS X Mavericks, and it is much in the same style as recent ads focusing on the iPhone's camera and its use as a music player.

The new campaign will focus on Apple as a brand rather than any particular product the company produces. The overall thrust will be the way that Apple's products work together seamlessly in order to enrich their users' lives. As in the newest ad and the two preceding, the forthcoming campaign is likely to feature Apple products only in the periphery of any particular shot, with the people using the devices much more the object of attention.

TBWA\Chiat\Day has had a hand in Apple's most memorable ads, from the iconic "1984" spot to the "Think Different" campaign to the silhouetted iPod dancers and the "I'm a Mac" series.
post #2 of 88
“…but a new report says there's dissent in the Apple advertising camp over marketing chief Phillip Schiller's leadership style.”

Who cares? If it’s true it doesn’t matter—leaders deal with dissent every single day after every single decision. If it’s false, it doesn’t matter.
Edited by MacManFelix - 6/11/13 at 12:05pm
post #3 of 88

In this day and age, good creative talent is dime a dozen, and available in multiple media formats in droves globally. I don't understand why companies like Apple even bother with ad agencies any more (except perhaps for just the sheer convenience of it).

 

My advice to those guys, assuming this report is true: take a deep breath, or be prepared to take a hike.

 

Add: Phil S. and Craig F (along with Jony I.) are the real standouts at Apple.

post #4 of 88
Please. No one can follow in Steve Jobs' footsteps without disappointing someone. Jobs had clarity like no one else.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #5 of 88
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
Jobs had clarity like no one else.

 

Changing one's position to that of his opponent's in the span of a week is clarity? "Show me stuff and I'll know it when I see it" is clarity?

 

I don't disagree with you at all, but Steve wasn't clear… to others.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #6 of 88
Schiller is not Jobs and its a tad disrespectful to diss him for that.

If they can't handle the change perhaps they should end the relationship

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #7 of 88
If their recent ads are the result of this, I say keep it up Phil. The Genius ads were pulled for a reason. I sympathize with their problem of having a lack of direction but that's the business they are in and I'm sure they get paid very well for it. It'll get harder for them as time goes on because they will have to cover a lot of the same ground but Coca-cola manages it just fine and they've been selling the same product largely the same way for over 100 years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coca_Cola_ad_ca._1943_IMG_3744.JPG

iOS has only been on the market for 6 years, they can't be running out of good ideas already.
post #8 of 88

I don't know who's doing what, but that signature ad blew donkey balls.

post #9 of 88
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post
I don't know who's doing what, but that signature ad blew donkey balls.

 

You people disgust me.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #10 of 88
Steve was likely much harder to work for than Phil.

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post #11 of 88
The problem with the Genius ads was that they belittled Apple's customers. And ignored the core philosophy of "it just works." If you need a Genius to figure it out, then the product is flawed.

Apple's ads have a certain "voice." It focuses on benefits, not features. It quietly proclaims things, instead of shouting them. And mostly it focuses on people and their relationship with their devices.

Yes that is kind of vague. But it's what works for Apple.
NW '98
"Everything works, in theory..."
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NW '98
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post #12 of 88
"Apple and the creatives behind its memorable "1984" ad have embarked on a new direction in the company's marketing..."

Actually, every one of the creatives behind the "1984" ad retired years ago. There's no one from the old guard still there.
post #13 of 88
The creative work post-Jobs feels very self conscious. Everyone is over thinking it both on the agency side and the company side. Jobs went with his gut, his emotions, and had the power to do so. It's a difficult position for Schiller to be in even though he is top notch at what he does. TBWA doesn't have the hunger it once had and it is probably time for a change, shake things up and give the account (or at least part of it) to an agency that is hungry and has fresh ideas.
post #14 of 88
I'd have thought the best person to make create decisions is Jony Ives.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #15 of 88
I'm not a fan of those heavy, drowning-in-artfulness ads Apple has been running lately, though I did admire the one that opened the WWDC conference. I did not at all respond to the one that closed out the show. It was the one false note in the entire event. It's not nice to convey so much certitude in judging the work of very talented people, especially if you haven't sat down and broken down precisely what you didn't like about it, but I think I'm right to say that these ads by Apple are just completely turgid. So much angst about their greatness and success. Relax a little. Convey confidence.
post #16 of 88

How can TBWAMedia Arts Lab be dissatisfied with Schiller's handling of Apple's advertising efforts?

 

Doesn't TBWA get paid by and also work for Schiller?  Sounds like someone is getting it twisted!  

post #17 of 88

Craig truly is a joy to watch. Very engaging.

 

How come Jonathan Ive is not doing the product presentations? I am feeling like a teenager listening to Phil. His enthusiasm comes across very juvenile: drooling about specs and the product's awesomeness. Shame, as the poetry gets lost.

post #18 of 88

I'd love to see a scene with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pitching for the Apple account.  The whole 1960's set from Mad Men, yet pitching on Apple's current account - it would be funny.  Actually make a great ad in it's own right.

post #19 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

...Schiller ... comes across as ... lack[ing] confidence. 

Really? Can you provide an example?

post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewofArabia View Post

I'm not a fan of those heavy, drowning-in-artfulness ads Apple has been running lately, though I did admire the one that opened the WWDC conference. I did not at all respond to the one that closed out the show. It was the one false note in the entire event. It's not nice to convey so much certitude in judging the work of very talented people, especially if you haven't sat down and broken down precisely what you didn't like about it, but I think I'm right to say that these ads by Apple are just completely turgid. So much angst about their greatness and success. Relax a little. Convey confidence.

As someone noted, the company's values/philosophy comes down, quite simply, to three things: Simplify. Perfect. Delight. http://dthin.gs/170wnEZ

 

What do you find false or turgid about that?

 

(Btw, take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZmIiIXuZ0).

post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Changing one's position to that of his opponent's in the span of a week is clarity? "Show me stuff and I'll know it when I see it" is clarity?

I don't disagree with you at all, but Steve wasn't clear… to others.

Steve was flexible. Clarity means people know exactly what you want. That is more of a communication problem.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

In this day and age, good creative talent is dime a dozen, and available in multiple media formats in droves globally. I don't understand why companies like Apple even bother with ad agencies any more

 

Please.  Apple makes great stuff, but they're not masters of all possible human activities in the world.

 

Sometimes it's good to bring a specialist in.

 

Exhibit A:

Quote:

Apple’s partnership with Chiat\Day began in the 1980s, stemming from Jobs’s relationship with creative director Lee Clow. Clow, known for his long beard and laid-back approach, led development of the “1984” Macintosh ad, which symbolized Apple’s challenge to International Business Machines Corp. by depicting a runner throwing a hammer into a TV screen featuring a Big Brother-like speaker. He’s also credited with creating the Energizer Bunny and other iconic campaigns.

Though the agency lost Apple’s business when Jobs was ousted in 1985, Jobs called Clow after he returned in 1997 to work on the “Think Different” campaign.

(from the source this AI article is based on: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-06-11/apple-with-1984-ad-partner-are-said-to-plan-new-campaign-tech#p1 ).

 

 

Exhibit B:

 

Steve Jobs Almost Named The iMac The MacMan, Until This Guy Stopped Him

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669924/steve-jobs-almost-named-the-imac-the-macman-until-this-guy-stopped-him

post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

I don't know who's doing what, but that signature ad blew donkey balls.

I'll bite. 1smile.gif
What should the ad contain?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #24 of 88
Translation: Execs at TBWA(silly backslash)Chiat(silly backslash)Day are complaining because they are being asked to work for the money they are being paid.
post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennettvista View Post

I'd love to see a scene with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pitching for the Apple account.  The whole 1960's set from Mad Men, yet pitching on Apple's current account - it would be funny.  Actually make a great ad in it's own right.

Off-topic, but that's one weird, over-rated show.....

post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

As someone noted, the company's values/philosophy comes down, quite simply, to three things: Simplify. Perfect. Delight. http://dthin.gs/170wnEZ

 

What do you find false or turgid about that?

 

(Btw, take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZmIiIXuZ0).

Johnny is a genius, but since Job's departure he has been harping on about protecting "fragile ideas" and too much philosophy about design bullshit... you can see this reflected in the recent advertising (above) and it's bordering on pretentiousness.  Jobs was a great match for Johnny as he kicked him in the ass and brought out the best in him, not letting him get too far into his own head.  I worry about Apple now for the simple fact that there is no more fly in the ointment.  You need the rough with the smooth as too much smooth gets boring as hell.

post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Please. No one can follow in Steve Jobs' footsteps without disappointing someone. Jobs had clarity like no one else.

Until he changed his mind. 

Except when he would tell us he didn't like something without telling you why.

post #28 of 88
Since I'm not an American, I don't use the frase "...my ass" but do know it is a regular expression. That said, I don't think it was a 'fitting' choice of words yesterday. Still, I think Phil is an excellent VP. And has humor too. I chuckle when I think of the iPad2 presentation: "Hé, I get to sit in the chair". Stuff like that makes me feel wanting to work for Apple.

The one that takes the cake is Craig. Not just yesterday, but you should really sign up (for free) as a developer and download all these video podcasts from every WWDC week. I had my laughs and can't wait to watch his presentations from this week.
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post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Steve was flexible. Clarity means people know exactly what you want. That is more of a communication problem.

Steve was flexible: this is shit. Didn't you read his biography?

I like the suttleness of the ads.
post #30 of 88

Sounds more like a handful of disgruntled people working there who thought they'd have more control post-Steve, and don't like that Apple is continuing it's policies. People don't like being told no, and some complain anonymously. 

 

Non-story.

 

It would be a story if Phil was changing how they operated.

post #31 of 88
I kind of agree. There's been two many different styles of Apple ads over the past year even. I think he's onto someone when he says lack of clarity.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #32 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

Craig truly is a joy to watch. Very engaging.

 

How come Jonathan Ive is not doing the product presentations? I am feeling like a teenager listening to Phil. His enthusiasm comes across very juvenile: drooling about specs and the product's awesomeness. Shame, as the poetry gets lost.

 

Craig Federighi is just far more polished than anyone else at Apple now. Only Jobs could compete with the guy as far as the presentations go, but I think Federighi is even better than Jobs was in that respect.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennettvista View Post

Johnny is a genius, but since Job's departure he has been harping on about protecting "fragile ideas" and too much philosophy about design bullshit... you can see this reflected in the recent advertising (above) and it's bordering on pretentiousness.  Jobs was a great match for Johnny as he kicked him in the ass and brought out the best in him, not letting him get too far into his own head.  I worry about Apple now for the simple fact that there is no more fly in the ointment.  You need the rough with the smooth as too much smooth gets boring as hell.

Can someone translate? 1rolleyes.gif

post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtDecoDalek View Post

Translation: Execs at TBWA(silly backslash)Chiat(silly backslash)Day are complaining because they are being asked to work for the money they are being paid.

No. Translation: Today journalism is non-existent even for Businessweek. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this piece is just a "hey, one guy talked bad about Apple. Let's run it. We will got a lot of clicks."

post #35 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I kind of agree. There's been two many different styles of Apple ads over the past year even. I think he's onto someone when he says lack of clarity.

Who is he?

post #36 of 88
Steve doesn't even know how the original iPad ad should be about. Read the bio. He came to the conclusion only at the final moment. This journalism is funny.
post #37 of 88
I like the "Signature Ad" that's the black & white graphics only piece that started the WWDC 2013 Keynote... Pure Genius. Run That one as an Apple Brand Commercial too!
post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

In this day and age, good creative talent is dime a dozen, and available in multiple media formats in droves globally. I don't understand why companies like Apple even bother with ad agencies any more (except perhaps for just the sheer convenience of it).

 

My advice to those guys, assuming this report is true: take a deep breath, or be prepared to take a hike.

 

Add: Phil S. and Craig F (along with Jony I.) are the real standouts at Apple.

Oh man, I couldn't disagree more. In this and age upstarts, 'know it alls' and 'media experts' are a dime a dozen. Creatives with clarity of vision, deep understanding of the message and the audience, and clear leadership, are very very hard to find. To get the marketing strategy right for a company like Apple is impossibly difficult, made more so by the fact that 'creative talent' and 'marketing nous' is something that seemingly every Tom Dick and Harriet has aplenty.

Marketing is difficult and always involves much doubt and soul-searching, and to be able o think clearly and have a clear vision in the cacophony of opinions, takes very special people.

post #39 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennettvista View Post

ha ha - you so funny anantksundaram!!... you've posted 10,887 times on Apple Insider... getting that aggression out through your fingertips at strangers around the world... the dark side is powerful young anakin.

 

I didn't sense any aggression. Also, lame Star Wars reference. If you were gonna do it, at least say "young Skywalker" and not reference the PT.

post #40 of 88
"Media Arts Lab personnel are said to be frustrated when Schiller nixes an ad idea."

Let me rephrase this. "After Steve Jobs died we thought our jobs would get easier and Phil keeps making it hard on us."
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