Bloomberg reports that Apple is aiming to produce more of its TV advertisements in-house and, in turn, rely less on TBWA\Chiat\Day, the company's longtime ad agency. The shift in strategy is reportedly rooted in Apple's desire to keep its advertising fresh in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Samsung.
That Apple is looking to rely more on itself shouldn't come as a surprise for two reasons. First, Apple prefers doing things on its own whenever possible. And second, you might recall some emails from Phil Schiller that surfaced during Apple and Samsung's most recent California litigation. Schiller's emails, sent in early 2013, expressed disappointment (to put it mildly) with what he felt were stagnant iPhone ads. The trial also revealed that Schiller at one point suggested to Apple CEO Tim Cook that the company explore using another ad agency altogether.
Cook's response? "If we need to do this, we should get going."
While TBWA\Chiat\Day was obviously able to retain Apple as a client, Schiller's dissatisfaction reportedly led to Apple exerting more of its own creativity with respect to TV commercials. In fact, Bloomberg was able to confirm that two notable iPad Air commercials from last year -- the Bryan Cranston narrated "Pencil" ad and the Robin Williams narrated "Your Verse" ad -- were both created by internal Apple teams.
An Apple team made the iPad Air ad last year that highlighted the device's thinness, as well as a spot this year with Robin Williams quoting from the film "Dead Poets Society" and other ads airing now, said Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple. The internal team includes at least two people Apple hired away from Media Arts Lab, a TBWA unit that only serves the iPhone maker, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Recall that news of Apple looking to expand the number of ad creatives within the company first surfaced this past September in AdAge.
Longtime observers say after years of capping the size and type of internal creative talent, the tech giant is significantly expanding its in-house design group. One executive familiar with the company said the group could grow to 500 or 600 staffers from about 300.
On top of that, Bloomberg relays that the process by which commercials are created and get made has changed as well. With Apple bolstering its internal team with seasoned advertising executives, TBWA\Chiat\Day must now "compete with the internal team on each campaign."
What's more, a report from this past April pointed to Apple hiring four new digital agencies to help the company with its advertising efforts. And more recently, Apple poached CEO Karl Heiselman from Wolff Olins Global, a design and brand consultancy company with a number of blue-chip clients.
All this being said, Apple's advertising efforts have, for the most part, been rather impressive over the last 18 months. Below are a few of the best Apple commercials that have come out since April of 2013.
Personally, I think "Photos Everyday" is one of the best commercials Apple has ever released.
The "Greetings" ad for the iPhone 5c is also great.
And of course, Apple's original "Your Verse" iPad ad is an inspiring gem.