Ken Segall is a fantastic writer. I enjoyed his great book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success. Good book, and to add a running commentary to the great themes in his book, Ken keeps up his thoughtful blog.
I previously overlooked this one post he wrote about Apple, Chiat, and the welfare of Apple’s marketing:
Since Steve passed away, Apple critics have had a field day pointing to the signs that Apple is doomed — even if the facts don’t quite support their conclusions.
Being largely subjective, advertising is a particularly easy target.
Whether or not Apple’s advertising has suffered without Steve, one can’t deny that “things have changed.”
Steve is gone. Phil now leads the advertising effort. And Lee Clow has removed himself from the day-to-day business of the Apple account.
So, in a business where relationships are everything, the relationships between Apple and Chiat are not at all what they used to be.
Ken has a way with words that’s persuasive. As pundits there isn’t much we can determine with certainty about Apple’s success or failure, but we can see a trend away from Steve Jobs’ marketing leadership. Mr. Segall is right on the money in his article.
I want to add a little balance to Ken’s “cloudy with a chance of failure” forecast. I think that Apple has a good thing going for it with the latest advertising campaign: “What will your verse be?” It’s not often the Apple focuses on abstracts, the arts, and creativity to this debth. Beats Samsung ads any day. It’s refreshing and inspiring. Its more meaningful than other Apple campaigns in recent years (like the shortlived Apple Genius series).
I want Apple to shake things up every now and then. If that means, sometimes, they take a softer approach in their advertising, as Mr. Segall calls their recent efforts, then that’s okay with me. Not all marketing needs to feel top-heavy, aggressive, sensational, or highly competitive when reading between the lines…