Apple is not only innovative for tech products but also now pushing their marketing ideas and style to big marketing firms.
TBWA/Media Arts Lab was presenting fresh work to its signature client when the Apple executive across the table stopped the proceedings and handed over another idea, saying simply, “We like this better.”
The favored ad was created by a rival agency: Apple’s in-house shop.
Recounted by a creative who has worked on the brand recently, it’s a scene that would have been unfathomable before the death of Apple’s creative heart and soul, Steve Jobs, roughly two-and-a-half years ago. But today Apple is thinking differently about its approach to advertising and marketing. Very differently.
Amid criticisms that it has failed to innovate, Apple is increasingly taking marketing into its own hands. It’s madly building an internal agency that it’s telling recruits will eventually number 1,000 — the size of Grey Advertising. It’s pitting TBWA/MAL against this internal agency with “jump balls” to mine the best creative ideas, a controversial tactic with outside agencies, let alone an internal one. It’s going after some of adland’s boldest-faced names to staff its in-house shop — in some cases, it’s even poached executives from TBWA/MAL. And, in what once would have been seen as a sacrilegious breach of the Apple-MAL bond, it’s been inviting some of the ad industry’s top shops to pitch on major projects.
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