Great Thinkers Grace Apple Ads

TBWA Chiat/Day has assembled a pantheon of the world’s greatest creative thinkers to help relaunch Apple Computer in a $50 million ad campaign breaking this week.
The agency’s first work since winning Apple’s estimated $90 million North American account uses images of famous figures under the theme “Think different,” to position Apple as the choice for creative professionals and educators [Adweek, Aug. 11].
Lee Clow, the shop’s chairman and chief creative officer, would only say that the ads will be “a tribute to creative thinkers who have changed the world.”
Sources said the likenesses of Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali and John Lennon, among others, all appear in the campaign.
A 60-second TV spot broke Sunday night during the network premiere of Toy Story. The commercial begins with a salute to “The Crazy Ones” before showing a montage of the legends and explaining how their once off-the-wall ideas have contributed to society. The ad ends with a young child–symbolic of the next generation–opening her eyes.
Print ads, billboards and “wild postings” will begin this week, said sources. Painted bus ads in cities, for example, will show freedom rider Rosa Parks–at the front of the bus. Film director Alfred Hitchcock and ad legend Bill Bernbach will adorn ads in Hollywood and on Madison Avenue, respectively. All the imagery will be in black and white, except for a color Apple logo.
The print and outdoor ads will consist of a simple, unidentified image of each thinker, with little copy. “The smart ones will be able to figure it out,” said one source. “The ones who aren’t smart enough will probably not be able to ‘think different’ anyway.”
TBWA Chiat/Day won Apple’s European account several weeks ago and is expected to pick up the client’s business around the world. –with Angela Dawson, Kathy Tyrer
and Teresa Andreoli