Think Big: Apple Aims For A Seinfeld Surprise

TBWA Chiat/Day and Apple Computer could have a surprise up their sleeves for the final episode of Seinfeld this week–a spot featuring Jerry Seinfeld himself, sources said.
At press time, sources said executives from Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple were negotiating a deal to air a “Think different” spot featuring Seinfeld during the May 14 broadcast of the sitcom’s finale. The deal has not been finalized, said sources.
The ad would likely be the only spot during the broadcast to feature Seinfeld, said sources. The spot is described as a sequel to the agency’s first “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” spot for Apple, said sources. If the deal goes through, Seinfeld would be the first comedian to join the pantheon of creative geniuses saluted in the “Think different” campaign.
Executives involved in the deal either declined comment or could not be reached. TBWA Chiat/Day placed a “hold” for at least 30 seconds of air time with NBC last week, said sources.
While Seinfeld has never appeared in an Apple ad before, the comedian–who has talked about opening his own ad boutique in the future–has starred in American Express ads for years. Amex has not bought time for the final episode.
Separately, Anheuser-Busch is staging a shootout between Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and DDB Needham, Chicago, for its single 30-second spot during the broadcast. DDB has offered a selection of spots for Budweiser and Bud Light that have never aired, while Goodby is pitching a new installment in its humorous lizards vs. frogs campaign for Budweiser, sources said.
The Seinfeld finale will be the costliest ad showcase ever, with over 20 advertisers shelling out an average of $1.7 million per 30-second spot, and some movie studios paying up to $2 million. This year’s Super Bowl broadcast on NBC set the previous record, with 30-second spots costing an average of $1.3 million.
NBC estimates that nearly 80 million viewers will tune in for the broadcast. –with staff reports