Barely two weeks after captivating the internet with his “Applefied” take on ads that features some of our most well-known brands, RPA intern Bryan Evans shares his thoughts on coming up with the idea and the experience of winning over the web audience for a few days. Take it away, sir.
A few weeks into my internship at RPA I found myself driving through the heart of West L.A. I was with a group of my fellow creative interns, returning to the office from lunch at one of our favorite local eateries. As we talked, I was struck by an image on one of the many towering billboards: a gigantic ad for Apple’s latest version of the iPad laid out in all its minimalist, glistening white glory.
“How do they get away with that?” I asked, rejoining the conversation. “It’s literally a picture of an iPad with a hand touching it, white background, that’s it. They sell millions of these things.”
A week or two passed. I had just wrapped helping with a Honda Pilot print piece as well as a Honda corporate print and digital project. I was in between assignments, passing the time reading ad blogs, when my thoughts unexpectedly returned to that iPad billboard. And I wondered:
What if all advertising looked like Apple’s?
I began to draft “Applefied” ads for other products using the Apple advertising formula, e.g. [Product] + [Product Name] + [Optional Hands Touching Product] = [Applefied]. Along with those variables came certain constants—the stark white background, Myriad Pro font, and shiny reflections. I didn’t know where this project would go, or exactly what I was trying to say, but I thought it might start a conversation amongst my friends and colleagues. I Applefied french fries and Levis and The Dark Knight Rises. I Applefied the pen, paper, and Post-It notes. I launched a blog, garnering what seemed like an impressive few thousand hits in the first few days. So I decided to send my stuff to a few web editors.
Buzzfeed’s Matt Buchanan sent me a reply that read simply, “hahaha awesome,” and I thought that would the end of it. Then my blog reached 10,000 hits a few hours later. I went to bed thrilled.
I woke up the next morning to 50,000 hits, emails from journalists across the world, and quite a few more Twitter followers. By noon I had reached 100,000 hits. My blog had gone viral.
Articles about Applefied hit some of the biggest advertising and tech sites, and industry blogs. I was gaining popularity all over the world, from China and Malaysia to Sweden and Germany.
It was all very surreal, and I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I was amazed at how many people related to the blog. How many people found it entertaining, and how, even without the Apple brand anywhere to be found on the ads, they enthralled the same audience that had been drinking the Apple Kool-Aid for decades.
The success couldn’t have been more brilliantly timed: my internship performance review came just days after the launch of the blog. It was the extra push that got RPA to offer me a full-time position as a Jr. Art Director. I was beside myself. The week had been a whirlwind.
I am thrilled to be starting my career with such an incredible agency. As an intern I had hands-on experience with a diverse group of departments and was able to work on some incredible projects, ranging from print ads to Super Bowl spots. RPA gave me more opportunities and experience than I would ever have hoped for as an intern.
There are many things I’ve learned from my internship, but perhaps most importantly is to follow your ideas. You never know where they might take you.
You can learn more about Bryan here.