Apple Now Creating TV Ads Internally, Still Collaborating With Longtime Ad Agency

A new report by Bloomberg highlights how Apple has shifted to producing more of its recent TV ads internally as opposed to relying on its longtime ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day and its iPhone unit, Media Arts Lab.

The report notes that Apple’s changes came after marketing chief Phil Schiller considered ending its partnership with TBWA in January 2013, as previously shown in leaked emails during the company’s second patent trial with Samsung. The relationship between the two companies had been strong for many years, as Chiat/Day and Apple famously worked on the iconic ‘1984’ ad for the Macintosh. The effectiveness of Apple’s relationship with TBWA/Chiat/Day reportedly started to weaken after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, as ads for Siri involving various celebrities and the ‘Genius’ TV spots were poorly received.


Instead of parting ways with TBWA however, Apple began building its own ad team, notably hiring ad veteran Tyler Whisnand away from Media Arts Lab to head its creative team. Apple also hired renowned music director David Taylor and a number of other veteran advertising executives to fill out its team. Meanwhile, TBWA made changes internally, promoting James Vincent, who had a working relationship with the late Steve Jobs, to CEO while extracting him from day-to-day operations.


Since then, both Apple’s in-house ad team and TBWA have worked on a number of successful ads, with the former creating the initial “Your Verse” iPad TV ad that aired this past January, and the latter helping with a recent TV spot that highlighted the iPad Air’s use in music composition by conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. However, Apple has also required TBWA and its internal team to compete on each campaign in order to ensure quality.

So far, the in-house efforts have helped stanch a decline in the impact of Apple’s ads since Jobs died, according to ad-monitoring company Ace Metrix Inc. Apple’s average score from this survey of hundreds of consumers fell in 2013 to 548 – just slightly higher than the overall average score for advertisers – – from 621 in 2011. So far in 2014, Apple’s median score has risen to 564, according to Ace Metrix.

Finally, Schiller and creative executive Hiroki Asai are also now said to be determining whether Apple should push digital marketing more following the launch of an ad campaign for the iPhone 5c on Tumblr this past March. It was reported by Ad Age last year that Apple would be adding for digital agencies to help out its online marketing strategy, which would be a shift from Jobs’ approach to only focus on TV and print ads.

Jobs reportedly disliked the idea of showing Apple’s products in low-resolution online ads, and applied the same distaste to campaigns on social media as Apple could not have full control of its intended message.



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