Apple looks to rein in marketing costs, accelerates internal ad team buildup

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2014
The world's wealthiest technology company is in the midst of pulling together the industry's largest in-house advertising agency, a move said to be motivated in part by a desire to reduce costs and in part by a need to be more agile and roll out creative more quickly.



A plan to double the size of Apple's internal ad team to some 600 staffers has been expanded, according to Ad Age, with the target now being a lofty 1,000 employees. The group, headed by creative director Hiroki Asai, will constitute possibly the biggest house agency on earth.

Despite reports that Apple has begun pitting the house team against TBWA\Media Arts Lab -- Apple's agency of record -- and inviting a number of other agencies to pitch campaigns, the iPhone maker isn't thought to be on the verge of parting ways with its longtime partners.

Instead, the buildup is believed to represent a new all-hands-on-deck approach to Apple's marketing as it shifts from primarily television spots and print placements to a new strategy that integrates far-reaching internet campaigns. That includes an increasingly visible presence on social media, a medium that Apple has traditionally held at arm's length and which requires a more agile approach than conventional media.

"They said they have so much going on from a marketing-communications standpoint that MAL is part of their plan, but their expectations for marketing are much greater than what MAL is built to do," one advertising executive said to AdAge. That sentiment was echoed by another industry insider, who said that each of Apple's existing agencies were "max busy."

As part of that shift, the company could be looking to reallocate funds, a likely explanation for Apple's recent audit of TBWA\MAL and its media buyer. That audit was designed "partly to find some cost savings," a source told the Wall Street Journal.

Apple spent more than $1 billion on advertising last year and is believed to be worth as much as $150 million in yearly revenues for TBWA\MAL, which serves no other clients.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    Quote:

    ... to be more agile and roll out creative more quickly.


     

    What does that mean?  That they're finally going to innovate?  

     

    /s.

  • Reply 2 of 45
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,875member
    Great idea.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    This isn't a cost-saving measure; this is about controlling the message.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    Lol. More Internet advertising? I've never seen an Apple ad on AppleInsider outside of the articles about Apple marketing. But I've seen plenty of competitor ads served up on this site ;)
  • Reply 5 of 45
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member

    If Apple doesn't learn how to spend like Samsung, they'll never amount to anything.

     

    ...heh...

  • Reply 6 of 45
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,629member
    This isn't a cost-saving measure; this is about controlling the message.


    Not sure what you mean. Apple approves all ads anyway. They are always in control.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,629member
    In related news, Sammy is also considering Apple's in house advertising group. Literally. Spies are everywhere.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    Why not stick Jonny in charge of that as well, or perhaps that dre fella. Seriously hope this doesn't turn in to some diluted corporate dry advertising without vision and innovation.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    Not sure what you mean. Apple approves all ads anyway. They are always in control.

    There is so much marketing that really does not require an external ad agency. Apple's website alone is a huge marketing campaign. By having a high quality in house marketing dept to take care of this run of the mill stuff (no less important), makes sense. 

  • Reply 10 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Maybe Cook needs to move marketing from Schiller to someone else. Wouldn't hurt to have a fresh leadership there. I don't mind Apple's recent marketing campaigns but a lot of people do feel they lack the excitement of past campaigns.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member

    This move has Phil Schiller written all over it.

  • Reply 12 of 45
    thedbathedba Posts: 470member
    paxman wrote: »
    There is so much marketing that really does not require an external ad agency. Apple's website alone is a huge marketing campaign. By having a high quality in house marketing dept to take care of this run of the mill stuff (no less important), makes sense. 

    Go to most any European airport and Samsung's name is plastered all over the place. Apple's on the other hand is virtually non existent. North America is a different story.
    Brand awareness may help in such places.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zaba View Post



    Why not stick Jonny in charge of that as well, or perhaps that dre fella. Seriously hope this doesn't turn in to some diluted corporate dry advertising without vision and innovation.

    Yet another stellar armchair quarterback's idea.

  • Reply 14 of 45
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Maybe Cook needs to move marketing from Schiller to someone else. Wouldn't hurt to have a fresh leadership there. I don't mind Apple's recent marketing campaigns but a lot of people do feel they lack the excitement of past campaigns.

    Wrong. This man-up will give Phil much more effective and controllable resources with which to do his job.

  • Reply 15 of 45
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     

    This move has Phil Schiller written all over it.


    As well it should. It's called doing what's necessary in order to do one's job.

  • Reply 16 of 45
    thedba wrote: »
    Go to most any European airport and Samsung's name is plastered all over the place. Apple's on the other hand is virtually non existent. North America is a different story.
    Brand awareness may help in such places.

    LOL. Like Terminal 5 at Heathrow? Aka "Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5"? (Talk about Idiocracy.)
  • Reply 17 of 45

    This may be about reducing costs but there is a potential downside.  An effective external agency will challenge your perceptions of your own products.  An internal agency is much more likely to rehash old themes.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post





    Go to most any European airport and Samsung's name is plastered all over the place. Apple's on the other hand is virtually non existent. North America is a different story.

    Brand awareness may help in such places.

    Apple's not about to copy Samsung--especially not shotgun its ad/marketing budget ineffectively. Creating an in-house agency will enable Apple to carefully build a capable and appropriately motivated team with ample resources and budget to get out some great products at long last.

  • Reply 19 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,571member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     

    This move has Phil Schiller written all over it.


     

    Perhaps. Feels like 100% internal politics and a move to consolidate power. When people stake out power positions, the organization shifts focus inward. I don't see this as a good thing.

  • Reply 20 of 45
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Adam Venier View Post

     

    This may be about reducing costs but there is a potential downside.  An effective external agency will challenge your perceptions of your own products.  An internal agency is much more likely to rehash old themes.


    In what universe? This is Apple. Its corporate culture is the one responsible for its current success. How many of us know more than a sliver of just what those values are? I can't imagine wanting anyone other than myself to "challenge my perceptions." I'M the one to do that--just like what I'm sure Apple wants to do.

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