Director of Apple's '1984' & 'Think Different' campaigns retires from Apple's ad partner

in General Discussion edited February 2019
Lee Clow, the founder of Apple's main ad partner TBWA\Media Arts Lab, is retiring after spending a large part of his career working on Apple's most iconic campaigns including Think Different, Mac vs PC, and the 1984 Super Bowl commercial.

Clow, 73, will retain an advisory role as chairman emeritus, and participate in some "social impact" projects as well as a personal film effort, Fast Company said. Retirement plans were originally announced within TBWA in October, but not made official until Thursday.

The executive collaborated with Apple on all of its best-known campaigns, including its Orwellian "1984" Super Bowl spot, and "Think Different," which featured images of everyone from Gandhi and Albert Einstein to a Vietnam War protester putting flowers in gun barrels.

Later Apple work included the famous "Mac vs. PC" ads starring Justin Long and John Hodgman, and campaigns for iPods, iPhones, iPads, and iTunes. Outside of that partnership Clow's creations include the Energizer bunny and the Taco Bell chihuahua.

In recent years Apple has veered away from the styles Clow first championed, largely dropping any socio-political messages, as well as minimalist pieces set against stark white backdrops. Newer ads are often concerned with crafting an idealized lifestyle in which products like iPhones or Apple Music are key.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    Apple had a personality and opinion under Steve Jobs and has morphed into just another big corporation under a Cook.

    Clow is considered among the greats in his line of work. Well deserved.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    Never understood why Apple didn't acquire this company after decades.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Steve Jobs's magic is all but gone from Apple.

    edited February 2019 anantksundaram
  • Reply 4 of 7
    McJobs said:
    Steve Jobs's magic is all but gone from Apple.

    A one of a kind, but not the only one with a similar ‘passion’ for their company. Any person who started their own business feels the same way. Your company is your baby.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Brilliantly creative man. Just brilliant. 

    Apple’s ads post-Jobs are such anodyne crap, by comparison.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    I think the best and most telling of all was "Think Different".  And the most representative was Einstein.   Jobs kept a portrait of the man in his home and he epitomized Jobs' kind of thinking:   He not only had to battle the limitations of autism but anti-semitism in pre-WW-II Germany as the fascists were gaining power and trying to deligitimize all Jews -- they even attacked Einstein's Theory of Relativity as "Jewish Philosophy".  Einstein spent his life as an outsider and a disrupter.

    But, most relevant to Jobs' was Einstein challenge of authority.  He challenged his teachers and everyone around him.   He challenged conventional thought in physics that had existed for centuries.  And, he even challenged himself:  After creating the Quantum theory he spent the rest of his life trying to refute it!  And, he even lamented that he himself had become the authority that he had always rebelled from.

    I think Steve would have liked him.

    edited February 2019
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