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Report: Apple said to be moving TV ad production in-house

updated 01:53 am EDT, Thu June 5, 2014

Separation may not be acrimonious: Apple ad team made up of TBWA alumni

According to a new report, Apple is moving its TV ad spot creation in-house, using employees that are either liasoned or poached from its long-time ad agency. Members or former members of TBWA Chiat Day are said to be part of the new internal Apple TV commercial team, and Bloomberg is reporting that many of the more recent Apple commercials, including the "Your Verse" and the latest "More Powerful" ads, are the work of Apple's own team rather than its ad agency.

Apple's relationship to TBWA appears to have frayed since Steve Jobs' death in 2011, with some emails from last year -- revealed during the second Apple-Samsung patent trial -- suggesting that SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller and the agency were not getting along. The spat between agency and client came about after a Samsung ad blitz proved effective at making media critics question Apple's superiority, prompting Schiller to demand that Chiat Day respond. However, the initial responses from the team were viewed by Schiller as out of touch with Apple's mission, leading Schiller to suggest to CEO Tim Cook that the firm be replaced

To date, the company has not formally dropped TBWA Chiat Day from its roster of ad agencies, suggesting that the issues were later resolved over the last year. However, Apple has always been a client that demanded collaboration, secrecy and control in fashioning its image, and recent reports have said that the iPhone maker has been hiring additional consultants for web and print advertising in an effort to further evolve and diversify its ad campaigns and promotional spending.

TBWA Chiat Day has been responsible for the bulk of Apple's TV advertising over the decades, much of it regarded as some of the world's most influential commercials. In an earlier incarnation, the agency was responsible for Apple's "1984" ad introducing the Macintosh, the 1997 "Think Different" and "Mac vs. PC" campaigns that were considered very memorable, and may also have been in charge of last Christmas' noteworthy "Misunderstood" ad, which garnered wide-ranging praise.

by MacNN Staff





  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Vertical integration can be a very, very powerful thing, if done correctly.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    There's a reason companies go outside.Every business has a culture that places blinders on what it can see. The result can be ads that irritate or misfire. Apple's in-house ads, for instance, have a bizarre twist. They emphasize people outdoors doing battery-intensive activities, seeming unaware that iPhones and iPads don't like bad weather and lack models with extended battery lives. Apple is trying to sell products it doesn't make.

  1. speedracerxyz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-02-14

    That would make sense, since the recent commercials so terrible and merely following the same marketing strategy Jobs himself requested in quoting Dead Poets Society during the creation of the Think Different campaign many years before. Perhaps poach some better candidates?

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    How do you sell a product that everyone is aleady very familiar with? I agree with the other poster that said it often takes and outsider's view to convey another company's product, distance sometime gives clarity. Apple's latest ads are about inspiration and using an iOS device as a tool to realize creative ambitions. Obviously most people do not create or express themselves as those in these ads do so the larger audience may not be connecting with the "verse" ads. Apple has always made products which allow the technology to vanish and put the user in control I assume the Verse ads are a continuation of this ideal.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    For the record, I'm not having any battery issues with my iPhone 5s, it lasts all day in my experience and I use a wide variety of apps. What I *don't* do that perhaps is causing other people some issues is leave BT on all the time, or have apps doing background updates constantly. A little simple management to tailor your iPhone to your actual use, I find, nets all-day battery life.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    The thing about doing in-house is that after many years the ads will all look the same and less interesting. That gives way for Samsung to be more creative when utilize outside agency. In-house is good only for maintaining on-going projects (like manuals, website....etc).

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