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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    “…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.
  • Reply 2 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,879member


    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.

  • Reply 3 of 92
    Please. No one can follow in Steve Jobs' footsteps without disappointing someone. Jobs had clarity like no one else.
  • Reply 4 of 92
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 5 of 92
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    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
  • Reply 6 of 92
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 92
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member


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

  • Reply 8 of 92
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 9 of 92
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    I don't know much about Schiller other that what I see in these keynotes. To me at least he always comes across as awkward, a little befuddled, and lacks confidence. I am sure he is a very smart guy otherwise he wouldn't have the job that he has but he just doesn't seem all that bright on stage. The speaker I enjoyed the most yesterday that I think did and outstanding job was Craig Federighi. He was spontaneous, had a good sense of humor, was easy to follow and had a real passion and connected well with the audience. He was also a good salesman which is what you need to do on stage.

    In terms of the ad campaigns, I think the newest ones have potential. I like the idea of a tasteful campaign that shows people enjoying and using all Apple products in different scenarios. Those iPad and iPhone commercials were annoying to me with flashing the words quickly on the screen but I think it was also because I didn't like the background music.
  • Reply 10 of 92
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Steve was likely much harder to work for than Phil.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 92
    popnfreshpopnfresh Posts: 139member
    "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.
  • Reply 13 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,875member
    I'd have thought the best person to make create decisions is Jony Ives.
  • Reply 15 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 92
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bennettvista View Post



    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.


     


    I agree, why not consider giving the Mac account to another agency and let them present some ideas. Other firms would kill to get a contract with Apple and would work their asses off to bring out some innovative ideas. That would probably also give TBWA an incentive to work a little harder at coming up with a better campaign if they thought they could lose that big contract. 

  • Reply 17 of 92


    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!  

  • Reply 18 of 92
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member


    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.

  • Reply 19 of 92


    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.

  • Reply 20 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,879member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post



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


    Really? Can you provide an example?

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