Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Think Different': memories of the co-author - I

The campaign 'Think Different' preceded the return to favor Apple products. Rob Siltanen, who designed one of the key elements of this advertisement, is back in a long article in Forbes on its genesis and contributions of each other, the advertising agency to Steve Jobs. With the desire to offer a more robust account of the facts and sometimes more accurate than has done to his liking, the biographer of Jobs who devoted a few pages to this episode founder of the new Apple.

 In 1997, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, calls his friend Lee Clow, the agency of the latter, Chiat / Day, running at full speed and sails from strength to strength. This is the same Clow who had designed the first Apple Mac and the 1984 clip. The two men are not seen for 10 years. Rob Siltanen (below), 33 years old at the time, manages the budgets of automakers, Nissan and Infinity, whose country is thriving.

Among the successes of the agency and history linking Jobs at Clow, things seem to be in the best auspices. Clow contemplated - and does not count - to defend his agency against competitors, Apple chose them immediately, or
no. When Clow and Siltanen come to Cupertino, against all odds, Jobs welcomes them without special outpouring "It's nice of you see, thank you for coming, now at work.” He told his visitors that Apple is taking on water from all sides, he is to consult several agencies that seem appropriate for some. He therefore asked Chiat / Day to propose some concepts and ideas.

Jobs, particularly authoritarian and arrogant, as remember that day Siltanen, says it intends only in the computer press releases and not passing on TV until Apple has more to offer on a product. "I felt he thought it was just one more company that had the chance to be in his presence." Siltanen then disagreed with this strategy "Half the world thinks that Apple is going to die. Not a few print ads in computer magazines that will help you in anything. You must show the world that Apple is strong as a lion. You never see people chat over a coffee machine to print ads. You need to do something bigger and bolder. You must go on TV and do other things that give you a real boost. "Lee Clow finally gave up his initial strategy of all or nothing and, at the invitation of Jobs, he agreed to do on some floor teams ideas to try to return to BBDO, its rival, Apple's budget. At Chiat / Day, one week was given to those concerned to write down the first elements of a future campaign.

This was for example to identify how Apple was perceived at the time of her life difficult. On the one hand it had its fans, those of the creative scene, among them a few celebrities like Spielberg and Sting who could serve as standard-bearer. On the other there were circles of the company who saw the Mac as a "toy", unable to make the computer "serious". Not to mention the media who predicted the worst for Apple, mocking its uniqueness in the PC world and discouraging the purchase of Mac. To a week, teams of Chiat / Day came together in a room with walls covered with literally their work and research. Four groups worked remembers Siltanen, but nearly all the fruit of their efforts was poor. Except for a sketch of a campaign designed by creative, Craig Tanimoto, which differed significantly from the lot: "It was a poster campaign with simple black and white photographs of famous people and events. One had a picture of Einstein. Another had a picture of Thomas Edison. Another had a picture of Gandhi. Another was the famous photo of flowers placed in a gun barrel during demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Above each image, there were the rainbow colors of the sky Apple logo and the words 'Think Different'. Nothing more. "Approach while simple in contrast with other work presented and full of stereotypes, with computers or using celebrities. An interesting idea, but needed explicit. Craig Tanimoto did so "IBM has a campaign for its ThinkPad, which states 'Think IBM' and thought that Apple is very different from IBM, so I said 'Think Different' was interesting. Then I felt it would be cool to link those words to some of the most unique minds in the world. "The combination of colorful logo and black and white photographs reinforce this assumption Siltanen writing. Lee Clow appreciated the idea and made everyone working on a variation on video. Others were looking for additional photos of personalities as well as video clips used. This was to develop a clip giving the general tone of the campaign to sell the idea to the client. As recounted the biography of Jobs, music and some lyrics of the song 'Crazy' by Seal (video) were seriously considered "We will not survive if we do not become a little crazy - We're never going to survive UNLESS we get a little crazy. "The idea was to play an excerpt of the song and follow with a place of phrases found hammering Apple's philosophy: There are people who see the world differently.

  • They see things in new ways.
  • They invent, create, imagine.
  • We make tools for these people.
  • Because while some see them as crazy, we see genius.
The picture fades and the Apple logo appears followed by the slogan:
Think Different. It however, was impossible to bring all this to a clip of 60 seconds without distorting the words and tone. Similarly, Siltanen wanted to revise the text to make it more incisive. But it was first to convince Jobs, rewriting can be done after.

The presentation took place at Apple with Jobs with a few people. Clow sold the idea to one of its teams Jobs apparently in a good mood. The head of Chiat / Day to decline suggested the campaign in the press, and television displays.

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