Why Apple’s Think Different Ad (1997) is Brilliant in a way you never thought of

by Mike Tyler | December 1, 2014


Footlocker created some brilliant ads this week and we’ll definitely be spending some time talking about why they are so (hint hint: next week). Until then though, let us go back a few years. Back to 1997 when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and created an ad that still stands as one of the most iconic as well as a personal favourite.

On this blog, we try to come up with #hottakes on popular topics. We try to keep it #fresh.

If you go visit google, you’ll find all the big reasons why this ad is so amazing. It rebranded Apple as a risk-taker, as something unique. It marked the return of Steve Jobs. It encouraged the people to take chances, la de da.

But what struck us in between our awe of their ability to rebrand apple and encourage people to take chances was just how cost-effective this ad was.

This just goes to show that concept (story), is more powerful that money. Just think about Michael Bay if you need another example.

This Think Different ad wasn’t some big campaign shoot with actors and animations and production and editing and all that. It didn’t take storyboards and casting and location scouting to make.

All it took was for someone to sit down and think about all the great risk-taker, think different-ers, of the last little generation.

All it took was for someone to think about people who inspired them.

The Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart & Bernt Balchen, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Pablo Picasso‘s of the world.

The people who made change

Many of these footages were public property and what copyright they had to pay, I assume, is cheap. And not just cheap, easy. Fire out a couple emails, put a couple 3 second clips together, and the concept carries this idea home.

Brilliant.

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