Apple Thnik Different
Computers and Technology
Submitted By kunal110
In this paper, I will be analyzing one the most successful campaigns in the history of advertising.
In August ’97, Steve Jobs who had co-founded Apple Computers returned to the Company once again as its chief executive officer. Those were the times Apple was amidst crisis. Among many things that he addressed, the most important was to redefine Apple’s image in the global market. People were not ready to buy computers from a company who might not last a year. Jobs needed to change this image. Therefore the “Think Different” campaign was an attempt to change to consumer’s perspective for the company.
With the “Think Different” campaign, the writers wanted to remind both their consumers and their staff, how Apple thinks differently, using rhetorical appeals of logos, ethos and pathos. It also symbolized the return of the genius that was removed from the company. Apple had lost the “creative” touch during his absence therefore it was very essential for him to create a campaign that would remind the consumers what Apple brand was all about. Through the campaign they hoped to gain their cool, hip image back.
The writers used reasoning (logos), rhetorical appeal to stimulate audience’s common sense, beliefs and values by honoring revolutionary heroes and rationalizing that creative thinking produces positive change. The writer used pre-existing simple facts that drew conclusions in their favor. The visual elements included a set of historical influential people having certain common traits regardless of their diverse impact on the world. A few of the common traits were to disagree with the norms of the time, question the status quo, thinking differently and a strong will to change the world.
The message of the piece is to honor those who think differently. Since the people who think differently, like Apple are the ones who change the world. The message is also a metaphor differentiating two different groups; the status quo, symbolizing Microsoft and IBM, and the heroes we all respect symbolizing Apple. They gave tribute to the famous social figures that thought creatively and resulted in being the greatest catalysts of civilization.
Apart from the reasoning rhetorical appeal, the writers also used credibility (ethos) rhetorical appeal of reputation, character, and values of all the figures to support their claim of thinking different. The tone and style of the entire message throughout is very thoughtfully handled. By describing the social figures as “the crazy ones, misfits, rebels and troublemakers” the message invites the viewers to question their own ethics and inspire them to think differently. They make the viewers recognize genius in the ones who are thinking different because they are the ones who change the world. They have also used emotion (pathos) rhetorical appeal to awaken feelings and desires among viewers. This aroused inspiration, wonder and connection. The inspiring images stimulate emotions of awe, happiness, inspiration, joy, peace and pride.
I feel there was no weakness to this campaign at all. A viewer used to typical posters and campaigns might wonder how this very simple looking campaign, which doesn’t even mention any names of its product, could sell computers. But I think this campaign, was a perfect example of “brand advertising” which works indirectly by creating a image of the company and its product to which a potential customer can identify with. The only modification I would recommend at that time would be to use social figures representing more diverse nationalities thus creating a bigger impact world-wide.
Apple’s effective communication through its think different campaign touched the hearts and minds of the viewers using rhetorical appeals of reason (logos), credibility (ethos) and emotion (pathos). It has played a significant role in making Apple into the dominant company it has become today. Apple has indeed changed the world.
Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.
Interviews by Ken Segall/Rob Siltanen/Eric Grunbaum/Amy Moorman ( Creative Director – Apple)