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Apple files for new 'Think Different' trademark

updated 01:25 pm EST, Wed December 9, 2009

Company looking to revive old marketing?

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a new Apple trademark application, covering the company's "Think Different" marketing slogan. Originally introduced in 1997, the slogan formed the heart of a campaign tying Apple to current and historical celebrities, such as Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mahatma Gandhi and Pablo Picasso. It fell into disuse starting in 2002, as the company began pushing a "Switch" campaign and later its "Get a Mac" ads.

It is uncertain why Apple would apply for a new trademark, though 2009 iMac packaging is said to use the slogan on specification sheets. The company could be looking to simply maintain the trademark, preventing it from being used by others. It now covers "portable and handheld digital electronic devices" however, which could allow Apple to apply the marketing to iPods, iPhones and an upcoming tablet.

by MacNN Staff



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  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm sure...

    it has more to do with maintaining the trademark than a desire to go back to it. Esp. considering it failed completely as a marketing slogan (I wonder if the same people who complained about it's grammar incorrectness are now the ones always complaining about MacNN's issues in this area).

    Not that it was worse than those 'switch' ads, which were fine until the drugged up girl one made them into the butt of jokes.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Beg to differ testudo

    but the "think different" marketing was VERY popular with several segments including education. To this day the posters and other materials bearing the slogan have a cult-like following and command a pretty high premium with collectors. Given current marketing trends toward all-things-retro it is fairly likely Apple may recycle the trademark for use with new products.

  1. Outdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree with TomSawyer

    IMHO, if the Apple tablet is real and released, it will have to be different than anything out today. So, the re-use of "Think Different" with it would be more than logical.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Beg to differ

    To this day the posters and other materials bearing the slogan have a cult-like following and command a pretty high premium with collectors.

    Except you're looking at the wrong thing. What you are talking about is the ad campaign being popular and having a following. That's all well and good for the guys who created the ads. However, the point of an ad campaign is to help with sales. And they didn't help there much at all. Thus, it succeeded as art, but failed as an ad.

    This recalls a discussion I read about the famous ad campaign "Mama mia, that's a spicy meatball!" It's a great ad. It's funny. People remembered it, repeated it, lampooned it, etc. Only problem was, most of them couldn't remember what it was an ad for. They thought it was for some pasta sauce, not Alka Seltzer. Another great ad that succeeded in everything except pushing the product, which, of course, is what an ad is supposed to do.

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