Marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is, and so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.
Now, Apple, fortunately, is one of the half a dozen best brands in the whole world, right up there with Nike, Disney, Coke, Sony. It is one of the greats of the greats, not just in this country but all around the globe. But, but, but even a great brand needs investment and caring if it’s going to retain its relevance and vitality, and the Apple brand has clearly suffered from neglect in this area in the last few years. And we need to bring it back.
The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and feeds. It’s not to talk about nips and megahertz. It’s not to talk about why we’re better than Windows. The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you. To lie! But they tried anyway, and the sales were going like this. And then they tried ‘Got Milk?’ and the sales are going like this. ‘Got Milk?’ doesn’t even talk about the product. It focuses on the absence of the product.
But, but, but the best example of all and one of the greatest jobs of marketing in the universe has ever seen is Nike. Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes. And yet, when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company. In their ads, as you know, they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about their air soles and why they’re better than Reebok’s air soles.
What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes and they honor great athletics. That’s who they are. That’s what they are about.
Apple spends a fortune on advertising. You never know it. You never know. So, when I got here, Apple just fired their agency. They were doing a competition with 23 agencies. That, you know, four years from now, we picked one. And we blew that up. And we hired Chiat, the ad agency that I was fortunate enough to work with years ago. We created some award-winning work, including the commercial voted the best ad ever made in 1984 by advertising professionals.
And we started working about eight weeks ago. And what the question we asked was, our customers want to know, who is Apple and what is it that we stand for? Where do we fit in this world? And what we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. We do that better than almost anybody, in some cases.
But Apple’s about something more than that. Apple, at the core, its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe. And we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like that. We’ve had an opportunity to work with people like you, with software developers, with customers who have done it, in some big and some small ways.
And we believe that in this world, people can change it for the better. And that those people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.
And so, what we’re going to do in our first brand marketing campaign in several years is to get back to that core value. A lot of things have changed. The market’s a totally different place than it was a decade ago, and Apple’s totally different. And Apple’s place in it is totally different. And, believe me, the products and the distribution strategies, manufacturing, are totally different. And we understand that.
But values and core values, those things shouldn’t change. The things that Apple believed in at its core are the same things that Apple really stands for today. And so, we wanted to find a way to communicate this. And what we have is something that I am, um, I’m very moved by. It honors those people who have changed the world. Some of them are living, some of them are not. But the ones that aren’t, as you’ll see, you know that if they’ve ever used a computer, it would have been a Mac.
And the theme of the campaign is ‘Think Different.’ It’s the people honoring the people who think different and who move this world forward. And it’s, it is what we are about. It touches the soul of this company.
So, I’m gonna go ahead and roll it, and I hope that you feel the same way about I did. Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, rebels, troublemakers, round pegs in the square holes, ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
– Steve Jobs, 1997