Apple's in-house ad makers fall short of TBWA\Media Arts Lab, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
According to data from research firm Ace Metrix, Apple's recent string of in-house advertisements don't stack up to those created by longtime go-to agency TBWA\\Media Arts Lab, which dreamed up iconic campaigns like the "Think Different" series.




Using raw viewer data from Ace Metrix, Bloomberg compiled a list of Apple ads aired over the past year and found commercials made by the Cupertino company's creative team do not perform as well as those outsourced to TBWA\\Media Arts Lab, a unit of TBWA\\Chiat\\Day put together for the sole purpose of serving Apple's needs. To gauge the effectiveness of a particular ad, Ace Metrix collects data points from "hundreds" of TV watchers to generate a "viewer score."

The research firm's numbers have the Apple team's aggregate score at 548, compared to 580 for TBWA. The two best-performing ads released over the past year were thought up by the outside agency, including a recent iPhone ad titled "Powerful" and last year's heart-warming holiday spot. Incidentally, the Christmas ad received high marks for "likeability" and "relevance," but not for pushing customers to buy an iPhone.

Apple's creative team comes closest to TBWA's efforts with a fitness-minded commercial for the iPhone 5s titled "Strength," which according to Ace Metrix scored 611, putting it just behind the aforementioned "Powerful" campaign premiere.

Apple's in-house churned out a few duds with its most recent "Your Verse" iPad ads featuring travel writer Cherie King and composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. The company has acknowledged that the overarching idea, as well as the well-accepted "Verse" campaign premiere spot, was dreamed up by its marketing team.

Responsible for the past year's worst performer was Apple with an iPhone 5c spot titled "Greetings" that featured people from around the world using the handset to say "hello" in various languages.




In 2013, rumors circulated saying Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller was at odds with the outside agency. It was later revealed through email correspondence unearthed during Apple's second California court case against Samsung that Schiller was shocked at TBWA\\Media Arts Lab's response to increased pressure from Samsung's anti-Apple ad campaign.

Schiller expressed his concern in early 2013, citing a Wall Street Journal story titled "Has Apple Lost Its Cool To Samsung?" and telling TBWA, "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around."

A subsequent memo from TBWA recommended what amounted to a drastic reshaping of Apple's corporate structure. The firm later apologized for the "over-blown" reaction, but later correspondence with Schiller showed the marketing chief was becoming increasingly troubled by Samsung's growing advertising power.

If data from Ace Metrix is to be believed, Samsung's latest Galaxy S5 ad -- featuring the handset's waterproof features -- is far better than any commercial to come out of Apple or TBWA. The S5 spot scored a 739, the second time an ad from the Korean company's agency 72andsunny hit above 700. Apple's all time best-performing spot was a FaceTime commercial from 2010 that received a score of 696.

As recently as April, reports claimed Apple is trying to distance itself from TBWA, but the rumors have gone unverified and the agency continues to create for the tech giant.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    Oh come on, how the hell do you compare? Different times different circumstances. Apple should definitely keep it in house.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    The ad with the deaf woman was a dud?

     

    I just saw that on tv a few nights ago, I though that it was decent.

     

    I also thought that the ad with the big penis song was pretty good, I forget what it's called.

  • Reply 3 of 39
    First, it is sad that other sites are posting numbers collected during the analysis while this site is not.

    One Apple ad scored 611 while a TBWA ad scored 696. These scores tell me Apple IS NOT THAT FAR OFF THE MARK WITH ADS!

    Apple is doing EXACTLY what Apple does... Learn from previous efforts to be better in the future.

    Ding Apple for scoring lower than TBWA, not being an equal to Google Maps from Day One, etc. But look at what is truly happening. Apple is learning and improving. iTunes U has been drastically improved as reported by other sites then by AI. Maps is being improved nightly as reported by other sites then by AI. I have no doubts ads will be improved by Apple and reported on by other sites then by AI.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    That graph shows three ads from each source in question. If you average them out for Apple vs. TBWA, the average scores are basically identical. Don't just believe me, though; try it yourself.
  • Reply 5 of 39

    Seems like a stretch to make much significance out of those numbers, but that's bloomberg for you.

     

    I've been loving all the recent Apple ads, my only complaint is that they make terrific 60 or 90 second ads, then trim them down to 30 seconds where they don't work as well and don't have enough time to make the emotional impact that they're capable of. If Apple is going to bother making them, seems like a big wasted opportunity not to pony up for the full spot.

     

    The recent parenting ad was fantastic, anyone know if that was done in house or not?

  • Reply 6 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    First, it is sad that other sites are posting numbers collected during the analysis while this site is not.

    One Apple ad scored 611 while a TBWA ad scored 696. These scores tell me Apple IS NOT THAT FAR OFF THE MARK WITH ADS!

    Apple is doing EXACTLY what Apple does... Learn from previous efforts to be better in the future.

    Ding Apple for scoring lower than TBWA, not being an equal to Google Maps from Day One, etc. But look at what is truly happening. Apple is learning and improving. iTunes U has been drastically improved as reported by other sites then by AI. Maps is being improved nightly as reported by other sites then by AI. I have no doubts ads will be improved by Apple and reported on by other sites then by AI.

    It's all cool ... as Carlos Estevez would say ... Apple are winning. :)
  • Reply 7 of 39
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Who is Ace Metrix and why do we care about them?
  • Reply 8 of 39
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    "TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which dreamed up iconic campaigns like the "Think Different" series."

    Oh, yes, I remember that one. If included the Tibetan Dalai Lama except in Hong Kong, where the Chinese government would have gotten upset.

    Perhaps that message should have been amended to: "Be different except where it takes courage and humanity." Or, as an Apple spokeswoman put it: ''The Dalai Lama really stands for our message in the United States. 'But in China, he may not get across the message that Apple is trying to send.''

    What's Apple's TBWA-inspired message for the Chinese? The only one that comes to mind is that Apple doesn't care about the brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet.

    Story at: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/17/world/apple-removes-the-dalai-lama-from-its-ads-in-hong-kong.html
  • Reply 9 of 39
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    How much cash does Apple have?
    LOOOOOOOOOOOTS!
  • Reply 10 of 39
    takeotakeo Posts: 426member

    Not surprising. The saying about someone who would represent themselves in court of law having a fool for a client certainly applies here. Doing your own advertising is profoundly stupid.

  • Reply 11 of 39

    "Greetings" was a bad ad? I liked it! It was nicely reminiscent of the "Hello" ad while being updated to the new phone and colourful style.

  • Reply 12 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    takeo wrote: »
    Not surprising. The saying about someone who would represent themselves in court of law having a fool for a client certainly applies here. Doing your own advertising is profoundly stupid.

    As opposed to hiring someone who will, if the pay is right, work for you adversary at the same time? Your logic is profoundly stupid and flawed, as is your analogy. In these times of Scamsumg and Gargoyle, Apple cannot trust anyone, better to hire the best and do their own PR.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member

    Ooooooooo, another prediction of failure for Apple. What a new concept this is. Not only is Apple doomed as far as products go but their marketing efforts are doomed too. Add this to the long list of other predictions of doom for the company. 

  • Reply 14 of 39
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,870member
    inkling wrote: »
    "TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which dreamed up iconic campaigns like the "Think Different" series."

    Oh, yes, I remember that one. If included the Tibetan Dalai Lama except in Hong Kong, where the Chinese government would have gotten upset.

    Perhaps that message should have been amended to: "Be different except where it takes courage and humanity." Or, as an Apple spokeswoman put it: ''The Dalai Lama really stands for our message in the United States. 'But in China, he may not get across the message that Apple is trying to send.''

    What's Apple's TBWA-inspired message for the Chinese? The only one that comes to mind is that Apple doesn't care about the brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet.

    Story at: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/17/world/apple-removes-the-dalai-lama-from-its-ads-in-hong-kong.html

    You do realize that China controls the media.

    ----

    Back to the topic, how do they get these scores? Who created those terrible Mac Genius ads?
  • Reply 15 of 39
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Geeze, who gives a s***?

    Apple's worst commercial is better than 99.8 percent of all other commercials one sees on TV.

  • Reply 16 of 39
    Why is Apple bringing the ads inside. Leaks? If apples pipeline is really as great as Apple says it is, they may be fringing the ads inside just for that reason.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    Takeo is right! I have been in an in-house department and several agencies. There is too much pressure to stroke your peers and supers. It's not a creative environment. What Apple might have done is buy a really cool little agency and let them work on apple as a client. THAT would have worked better than bringing advertising inside. This type of thinking is not good for Apple or any large firm. If it spreads it will kill creativity all around. To be a top ad athelete you gotta be mean, lean and hungry. Apple people are none of that. Talk to any of the middle management. They're fat and work very hard to keep anyone from knowing what they do !
  • Reply 18 of 39
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,765member

    It is exceedingly rare for companies to have successful in-house advertising departments. There are a lot of reasons for the failures that inevitably occur, but the biggest one is that the creatives are not left alone. Every red-butt VP and division manager thinks they know what makes a good ad and tend to interfere with the creative process. However, the ads Apple created themselves are pretty good and have decent metrics.  Naturally, Apple would be the one company to make this work. Time will tell.

  • Reply 19 of 39
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,502member
    TBWA didn't come up with the slogan, `Think Different.' Apple asked everyone to submit slogans, and he submitted his own, `Think Different,' which he liked best and lots of folks were venting how it's not grammatically correct, but then he touched upon the ``Just Do It'' and ``Got Milk'' campaigns in the Cafe for everyone to see.

    He then took it to TBWA and together they expanded it what we got with Dreyfuss.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    Nothing makes an agency work harder than the threat of an account coming up for review. Having an in-house shop in "competeition" with the outside guys might be kind of brilliant. No need to make threats (repeated threats would lose their impact anyway), because the threat is ever present. It's better than giving part of the account to another agency, because Apple controls it.
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