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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    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!
  • Reply 2 of 105
    Balloon boy V. 2.0
  • Reply 3 of 105
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 105
    How embarrassing!
  • Reply 5 of 105
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 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.
  • Reply 6 of 105
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    No mention of Chiat/Day, and the slashes are the wrong way around. Nice.
  • Reply 7 of 105
    intenseintense Posts: 106member
    < *blink*
  • Reply 8 of 105
    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...
  • Reply 9 of 105
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 105
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 105
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 105
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    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.



    Attack ads never work with anything, even in politics people hate attack ads. 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. Also after launching new hardware Apple stock went up and then dropped like a rock 10% the following week.



    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?
  • Reply 14 of 105
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 105
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 105
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    ... .... ..



    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.




  • Reply 17 of 105
    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).
  • Reply 18 of 105
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 he?s fooling? Then e pretend to not know that Apple now sells more than 2x as many Macs as they prior to the ads emergence.
  • Reply 19 of 105
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    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.



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