When Steve Jobs passed away last week, the world not only lost the visionary that gave us (in no particular order) the personal computer, the graphic user interface, the mouse, desktop publishing, the iPod, the online music store, the animation behind the “Toy Story” trilogy, tablet computers and smart phones.
It also lost one hell of an adman.
While I can’t attest to Jobs’ level of involvement in the creation of advertising for the Apple brand, from the stories I’ve heard, he was quite involved with the ad team at TBWA/ChiatDay. One thing I’ve learned in my many years in this business is that clients tend to end up with the advertising they deserve. Clients who settle for dreck usually end up with dreck. And clients who demand and champion great work will end up with great work.
Looking at the body of work for Apple, it’s easy to surmise Steve Jobs was a great client. Most likely not an easy one. Demanding to be sure. But great, in that he refused to settle for schlock.
My favorite Jobs story (as told by TBWA Creative Chief Lee Clow) was in regard to perhaps Apple’s most famous ad–the Ridley Scott directed “1984″ Super Bowl spot that launched MacIntosh. According to Clow, the week before the Super Bowl, Apple’s board refused to air the spot. “Under no circumstances will we pay for this to air,” they were said to say. At which point Jobs turned to his partner Steve Wozniak and said “I’ll pay for half if you’ll pay for half.” The very idea that a client felt so strongly about a concept that he would reach into his own pocket to pay for it is beyond inspiring. No wonder the folks at Chiat would walk over glass to work on the business.
For an all-to-quick summary of some of Apple’s best work under Jobs, Creativity released this “Top 5″ this week focusing strictly on Apple ads. I present it here for your enjoyment.
We’ll miss ya, Steve.
Posted by Mickey