Steve Jobs’ Former Ad Chief Says Apple’s Marketing Has Become ‘Soft’ And ‘Ordinary’ (AAPL)

Ken Segall says Apple’s advertising has become “soft” and “ordinary.” Those are harsh words — Segall worked alongside Steve Jobs at Apple in the 1990s in his role as creative director at advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. He put together some of Apple’s most iconic campaigns, including the “Think Different” effort that was credited with turning Apple’s corporate image around. And he named the iMac (Jobs had originally wanted to call it the “MacMan,” but Segall persuaded him otherwise).

In recent years, however, Apple’s advertising hasn’t been that great. Its most memorable recent campaigns were the longrunning “Mac vs PC” ads and its dancing silhouette work for the iPod. Both those campaigns ended years ago. Since then, Apple’s ads have mostly shown its products against a white background, along with a catchy song. (There has been some generic corporate image work, too.) They may have been effective in helping launch the iPhone, but it’s been years since Apple put out a really defining campaign that matches up to the Jobs era, according to Segall.

In fact, he says Apple’s advertising has become “kind of soft.”

We spoke to Segall about where he thinks Apple has been going wrong of late and how the company can get back to its legendary marketing days of old. Below is our lightly edited Q&A:

Business Insider: What do you think of some of Apple’s most recent non-product advertising campaigns, like the “Designed by Apple in California” push, which it launched in 2013 but hasn’t repeated since. Does that show a lack of marketing confidence from the brand?

Ken Segall: Apple is so over-analyzed: People put so much importance in different things that may not have importance [to the company’s bottom line], like some of the content of the ads in the last couple of years. But what people fail to realize is that some of these campaigns have happened when Apple has had nothing to say. That’s when things like “Designed By Apple In California” came along and softer ads like [the campaign for] people using the iPad. They did not have much edge.

My current example of this kind of “ordinary” ad would be the “Your Verse” campaign. It felt very much like a “big company” campaign, in effect just saying that people all over the world are doing amazing things with the iPad — but they’re also doing amazing things — For more information read the original article here.      

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