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Think Different
December 21, 2011 10:12 PM   Subscribe


 
It's a good story.
posted by mazola at 10:27 PM on December 21, 2011


I'd really like to know the story behind the Ellen Feiss commercial.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:37 PM on December 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've always wondered if/how they got rights to use all those people in their ads.
posted by empath at 10:38 PM on December 21, 2011


Wonder no more: Einstein, Inc
posted by Artw at 10:49 PM on December 21, 2011


Ad hominem: There's some details here.

Also links to a "Mac chick of the month" because apparently that's a thing. Apologies.
posted by dumbland at 10:54 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


To make up for my poor grammar, here are the relevant bits:
Macenstein: Take us back to that Switcher ad shoot. I understand you were not actually supposed to even be in the ads, you were actually just a friend of the Director’s (Errol Morris) son and just happened to stop by the set?

Ellen: That’s true. I was friends with his son Hamilton in high school and a few friends and I went with him to watch him make his ad. The two other girls I was with that day also made ads. We were asked to when we got there. What I was wearing in the ad was what I had worn to school that day.

...

Macenstein: So, that “beep, beep, beep” story was 100% true? How soon after your dad’s PC “ate” your paper did you force him to get you a Mac?

Ellen: The story is true, the 15-page paper was about the history of Chinatowns in America and I wrote it for my 8th grade history class. My parents bought my sister and I the G4 to share the next year.

Macenstein: So how did that shoot work? Was it all just stream-of-consciousness, or did they give you a script or direction of some kind? Multiple takes, etc.?

Ellen: The camera Errol used you could see his face in. So while he interviewed me, I was looking at him, and into the camera the whole time. The commercial was engineered for non-actors. It was literally an interview about my computer. He asked me questions to get me to tell him stories.
posted by dumbland at 10:58 PM on December 21, 2011


Yeah I knew some of that, she was friends with Errol Morris' son and they just put her on camera. She sill maintains she wasn't stoned, but to all outward appearances she seems high as a kite. When the execs screened the ad, what did they think. Did they think having a stoned looking high school girl in an ad would help the Apple brand?

That was 2002, a full 3 years before YouTube, that might be the first viral Internet video I encountered. I had a bunch of nerd roommates at the time it came out, we would make the boop boop noises and do the whu? Look all the time so I guess it served it's purpose.

At the time I kinda thought she had never done the paper to begin with and was just keeping up the story :)
posted by Ad hominem at 11:04 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


According to the interview mentioned here (the link to the interview itself seems dead) and from what I've heard elsewhere, it was allergies and antihistamines.

Not unrealistic at all. Throughout high school people assumed I was stoned most of the time, though I've had pot once in my life and I was 25 at the time. Boredom and lack of sleep are a hell of a drug.

As to what Apple execs were thinking, I get that she could look stoned, but she also looks and sounds like a teenaged kid.
posted by dumbland at 11:09 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Through quantity doesn’t necessarily come quality."

Apparently true for writing magazine article sentences as well.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:16 PM on December 21, 2011


There is also a video of her talking about her Powerbook G4

Yeah I will give her the benefit of the doubt, but her eyes are crazy red. There is no way a bunch of creatives and Steve fucking Jobs didn't think, this girl looks fucking high. We know Jobs was not exactly anti drug, I really think it is kind of a dog whistle ad. Every stoner thinks I want some of what she was smoking.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:19 PM on December 21, 2011


It's grammatically incorrect. Think differently.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:23 PM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of driving in Los Angeles one morning, East on Pico, crossing La Cienega. Ahead on the left was the Dylan Billboard, and someone had spray-painted "HE WHO IS NOT BUSY BEING BORN, HE IS BUSY BUYING." Which almost made it seem perverse to use people with truly great humanitarian legacies (Ghandi, Einstein) to hawk consumer products for profit.
posted by univac at 11:23 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Part of the genius of the ads, makes Apple seem like the anti-corporation. But then again, that was from the 1984 ad playbook.

They really have a level of sophistication in marketing and branding almost nobody can match.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:31 PM on December 21, 2011


I think I'd use the phrase "I" much less if I was writing a magazine story about something I did in my career.
posted by hwyengr at 11:31 PM on December 21, 2011


It's grammatically incorrect.

Not necessarily. Think purple.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:31 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Think ungrammatical.
posted by Wolof at 11:31 PM on December 21, 2011


That was an interesting read but it mostly made me wonder how many wonderful creative artists in the 21st century are spending their time and talents merely to sell things.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:32 PM on December 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


I take your point, but when you're coopting Gandhi, Einstein, etc., to shift product you've crossed a fundamental line.
posted by Wolof at 11:35 PM on December 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Jobs was a relentless plagiarist who stole idea from Xerox Parc, Microsoft, and even IBM.

Witness THINK.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:37 PM on December 21, 2011


In all fairness they cop to that in the article, they say the ads are a play on an IBM ad with the text "Think IBM"
posted by Ad hominem at 11:42 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not necessarily. Think purple.

That's also grammatically incorrect. Not that it matters if it sells product.
posted by iotic at 12:05 AM on December 22, 2011


What's interesting is all the stories coming out about jobs now that he's dead. It's almost like no one wanted to tell anecdotes about him when he was alive, so as not to piss him off.
posted by delmoi at 12:15 AM on December 22, 2011


here's the seal song they wanted to use, I'd heard it before, back in the day, but didn't recognize it by the name. And here's the final version of the ad. It would be cool to see the original 2 minute mood video.
I felt the opening was powerful because I designed it to sync up with the images of the geniuses and have a certain shock value. I thought about the brilliant people throughout history and the struggles they went through. Many lived tortured existences, and it was becoming clear to me that they shared a common thread. Like Apple, they all had amazing visions, but also like Apple, all of them at one point or another were given unflattering labels. Martin Luther King was seen as a troublemaker before he was universally seen as a saint...
Pff, and they say advertising types have no soul...

The irony is the one person in the room who realized how egotistical the whole thing was Steve Jobs (before he decided it didn't matter):
Jobs was quiet during the pitch, but he seemed intrigued throughout, and now it was time for him to talk. He looked around the room filled with the “Think Different” billboards and said, “This is great, this is really great … but I can’t do this. People already think I’m an egotist, and putting the Apple logo up there with all these geniuses will get me skewered by the press.” The room was totally silent. The “Think Different” campaign was the only campaign we had in our bag of tricks, and I thought for certain we were toast. Steve then paused and looked around the room and said out loud, yet almost as if to his own self, “What am I doing? Screw it. It’s the right thing. It’s great. Let’s talk tomorrow.” In a matter of seconds, right before our very eyes, he had done a complete about-face.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 AM on December 22, 2011


Oh, intresting. There's a version that jobs did the narration on himself.
posted by delmoi at 12:45 AM on December 22, 2011


Think pedant.
posted by chavenet at 2:34 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's grammatically incorrect.

"Think" seems like a transitive verb because it is often followed by a prepositional phrase from which "that" is dropped: "I think [that] cats are cute". But it's not, and in common usage intransitive verbs can often take an adjective: Drive fast. Play hard. Sleep tight. Walk tall. Dive deep. Throw far. Dress sexy. Grow fat. Fly high. Think fast. Think hard. Think different.
posted by nicwolff at 2:35 AM on December 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Does anyone else find these "I worked with Steve Jobs - he was a difficult genius" remarkably similar to those "I drank with Christopher Hitchens - he was a difficult genius" pieces?
posted by rhymer at 2:45 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jobs really liked the quote 'Great artists steal'. By this definition, he was a pretty great artist.
posted by choppyes at 3:00 AM on December 22, 2011


I'm not a pedant, I just think different from you.
posted by iotic at 4:02 AM on December 22, 2011


What's interesting is all the stories coming out about jobs now that he's dead. It's almost like no one wanted to tell anecdotes about him when he was alive, so as not to piss him off.
posted by delmoi


Or maybe there's more interest than ever in Jobs. Or maybe now we're getting stories because the teller doesn't have to worry about Jobs giving his side of the story.

Many reasons.
posted by justgary at 4:06 AM on December 22, 2011


Think grammatic.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 4:24 AM on December 22, 2011


Ellen Feiss Schmellen Feiss. It was Janie Porche I had the crush on back in the day.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:30 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Think PLASTICS
posted by blue_beetle at 4:55 AM on December 22, 2011


I'd really like to know the story behind the Ellen Feiss commercial.

You see when someone does a ton of pot before they film a commercial, well.....
posted by Fizz at 4:59 AM on December 22, 2011


I take your point, but when you're coopting Gandhi, Einstein, etc., to shift product you've crossed a fundamental line.

Wait, what? You mean Gandhi and MLK weren't capitalist visionaries that were always looking to shill for consumer products?

(Oh jeez, I hadn't heard about these before. I think I'm going to be sick.)
posted by kmz at 5:04 AM on December 22, 2011


The interesting thing about this story is that Jobs initially dismisses the ad as complete and utter shit, but is eventually persuaded to run with it (at which point he takes the credit).

This happens constantly in Isaacson's biography of Jobs - amazing new products, key business decisions, whatever, Jobs will dismiss them as utter crap, and those working with him have to expend enormous energy bringing him around to the right decision. (This is one of many reasons why Isaacson's book is rubbish - he documents these incidents again and again, which makes his insistence that Jobs is the visionary leader he's generally assumed to be a total non sequitur.)
posted by jack_mo at 5:05 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? You mean Gandhi and MLK weren't capitalist visionaries that were always looking to shill for consumer products?

Many years later I'm still wondering how fucking veneered, hollow and full of yourself you'd have to be to appreciate that campaign. I thought that Apple products were just fine until I saw Dr. King appropriated for one of those ads and though "fuck those guys."

I guess it's just an ugly fact of capitalism that if you're worth emulating, your corpse gets publicly raped to sell shit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:28 AM on December 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


> corpse gets publicly raped to sell shit.

The people who made the ads seemed to view it more as a respectful tribute than a corpse raping.

If they really thought differently they would have used Mickey Mouse and then hired some fancy lawyers to defend themselves as fair users when they got sued the next day. That's what I'd do if I owned a fifty billion dollar company.
posted by bukvich at 6:59 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


This happens constantly in Isaacson's biography of Jobs - amazing new products, key business decisions, whatever, Jobs will dismiss them as utter crap, and those working with him have to expend enormous energy bringing him around to the right decision. (This is one of many reasons why Isaacson's book is rubbish - he documents these incidents again and again, which makes his insistence that Jobs is the visionary leader he's generally assumed to be a total non sequitur.)

Now I want to make a fan-edit of the book that takes out the "visionary leader" crap.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:04 AM on December 22, 2011


Such a weird place, people being so anti-consumer-technology, posting to an internet message board with their computers.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:10 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


This happens constantly in Isaacson's biography of Jobs Metafilter - amazing new products, key business decisions, whatever, Jobs posters will dismiss them as utter crap...
I would think you all would be more empathetic.
posted by mazola at 7:11 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait, what? You mean Gandhi and MLK weren't capitalist visionaries that were always looking to shill for consumer products?

Einstein, on the other hand, clearly was. As evidenced by his well known panegyric to the free market economy: Why Capitalism?
posted by titus-g at 7:14 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Such a weird place, people being so anti-consumer-technology, posting to an internet message board with their computers.

Don't conflate being anti-manipulative marketing with being anti-consumer technology. There's close to $3k of shiny Apple gear in our house but I certainly don't like the smarmy attitudes associated with the management and marketing of the company.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:16 AM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


The interesting thing about this story is that Jobs initially dismisses the ad as complete and utter shit, but is eventually persuaded to run with it (at which point he takes the credit).

To clarify, Jobs loved the print Think Different ads right from the beginning, but had issues with the narration on the TV commercial. From the article:
He looked around the room filled with the “Think Different” billboards and said, “This is great, this is really great … but I can’t do this. People already think I’m an egotist, and putting the Apple logo up there with all these geniuses will get me skewered by the press.” The room was totally silent. The “Think Different” campaign was the only campaign we had in our bag of tricks, and I thought for certain we were toast. Steve then paused and looked around the room and said out loud, yet almost as if to his own self, “What am I doing? Screw it. It’s the right thing. It’s great. Let’s talk tomorrow.”
posted by BurntHombre at 7:26 AM on December 22, 2011


It's grammatically incorrect. Think differently.

They say "differently" earlier in the spot. "The ones who see things differently."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:35 AM on December 22, 2011


RE: Steve Jobs taking credit for other people's ideas, But Tribble warned Andy Hertzfeld about Steve's tendency to do exactly that on the early Mac team:

"Well, just because he tells you that something is awful or great, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll feel that way tomorrow. You have to low-pass filter his input. And then, he's really funny about ideas. If you tell him a new idea, he'll usually tell you that he thinks it's stupid. But then, if he actually likes it, exactly one week later, he'll come back to you and propose your idea to you, as if he thought of it." Folklore.org

I never really got the impressed that they felt it was mean-spirited, though... more like the best way to get your idea in motion was to let Steve pretend he invented it himself.
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 7:41 AM on December 22, 2011


The people who made the ads seemed to view it more as a respectful tribute than a corpse raping.

It's rape when the other party's unconscious, even if you like them very, very much.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:48 AM on December 22, 2011


It's directly descended from the VW Beetle's "Think Small."
posted by whuppy at 7:50 AM on December 22, 2011


Apple Employee Fired For Thinking Different is forever linked with that campaign in my head.
posted by Drastic at 8:03 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's grammatically incorrect. Think differently.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:23 AM on December 22


A thousand times, this.

I have started boycotting companies that fail to use adverbs where required. No, seriously. This particular defilement of the language has gone too far. I also boycott businesses that use deliberate "hilarious" misspellings or fail to punctuate correctly.

Look, I'm 52 and I live alone. This is what happens. Your turn will come.
posted by Decani at 8:04 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


"A thousand times, this" is also incorrect.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:22 AM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Eight Totally Twisted Forbes Articles You Won't Believe People Are Reading
posted by a_girl_irl at 8:53 AM on December 22, 2011



The people who made the ads seemed to view it more as a respectful tribute than a corpse raping.


It's respectful to MLK to show him paired with an Apple logo? Because that's how great you believe that brand to be that it uplifts even MLK's image?

Please understand how advertising works--they take the image of someone you already know, respect and admire and pair it with something that is not as well known, not as respected, and not as admired. This is why they ran that campaign when Apple was in the toilet, and they run more humble ads now that they are on top.

The great irony is that no one who was buying apple products in 1997 though different, they all thought exactly the same as each other, that because brilliant and creative people are shown in the ads, by using those products they must be brilliant and creative as well.

It's advertising. By definition, it's a lie they want you to tell yourself.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:59 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Look, I'm 52 and I live alone. This is what happens. Your turn will come.
posted by wcfields at 9:14 AM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Those ads disgusted me when they ran. And still do. MLK? Ghandi? Your luxury product is saving the soul of mankind? And those self-sacrificing revolutionary heroes would have pitched in to help you sell it if only they'd lived long enough to sign the papers?

Unforgivable. Still have not bought a single apple product since that fucking garbage infested our magazines and bilboards.

Interesting story, though, by the guy who thinks credit needs sharing (as opposed to blame).
posted by damehex at 9:22 AM on December 22, 2011


Also, I am the kind of visionary who has different-thunk the spelling of Gandhi's name on occasion. /oops
posted by damehex at 9:24 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still have not bought a single apple product since that fucking garbage infested our magazines and bilboards.

Do you want a cookie?
posted by empath at 9:27 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think he really wants an iPad but is fighting an internal battle.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:29 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Oh jeez, I hadn't heard about these before. I think I'm going to be sick.)

Wow, neither had I. That's appalling.
posted by kafziel at 9:49 AM on December 22, 2011


I don't need a cookie, but I guess I WOULD like some marketer, somewhere, to understand that a non-zero segment of the market is lost to that brand forever when an ad campaign is in such horrifyingly bad taste.
posted by damehex at 10:02 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since my previous comment was deleted for some reason, I shall endeavor to elaborate on its meaning in a more verbose manner that is hopefully more acceptable to our ever fair-and-balanced moderation staff:

There sure a lot of people here that are insanely angry about a fifteen-year-old ad campaign.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:03 AM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Apologists gonna apologize.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 AM on December 22, 2011


I'm not a fan of the excesses of marketing, but I'm struggling to see this as offensive. It's really a case of "here's some people we think are cool, that's part of our brand values". If it were like "If John Lennon and MLK were alive today, they'd use Macs", that would be offensive - but it's not.

Also, it was well done and well designed and that helps.
posted by iotic at 10:16 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


> but I'm struggling to see this as offensive

How about if you found out the company behind that campaign doesn't observe MLK day?
posted by morganw at 10:38 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


(even then copyright would, I believe, apply, but the rules are different. But we are talking about advertising so it's not really relevant)
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on December 22, 2011


It's really a case of "here's some people we think are cool, that's part of our brand values"

It's more a case of "here are some people who, when alive, were completely against the superficialities of consumerism. If you blindly admire these people without fully understanding their positions, we're counting on you to convince yourself that you can be more like these exhalted people by purchasing our shit."

It tarnishes the historical legacy of someone like Dr. King to suggest that someone can be more like him through their purchases. It's the work of philistines.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:40 AM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Unless it was editorial usage, of course.

It would be parody, so it's fair use. You'll need to talk to my lawyer, I think. The campaign's, uh, too far along to scrap it so we'll worry about it when we get the cease-and-desist.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:42 AM on December 22, 2011


Where is your rage at Isaac Asimov for endorsing the TRS-80? Is he off your "artistic rollcall," too, Mr. Hicks?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:44 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Asimov was obviously in on that. But this is stupid.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:48 AM on December 22, 2011


Are you comparing a science fiction author to Dr. King? Maybe that's fair if you're a robot or something. I wouldn't care if Isaac Asimov endorsed mercury-laced heroin for orphaned mountain gorillas financed through payday loans.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:50 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there also any online petitions or something where I can officially register my disgust over Google Doodles?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:56 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Previously - A long standing tradition of alive people endorsing computers
posted by Artw at 10:56 AM on December 22, 2011


Yes, and the estates or likeness holders of Dr. King and the others were as well, otherwise they would have sued the then-struggling Apple into oblivion. And the Apple campaign didn't just feature Dr. King, it featured many other figures who thought differently like a puppeteer, a singer-songwriter, an aviator, a director, and a comedian.

Besides, Dr. King liked sci-fi.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:15 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, and the estates or likeness holders of Dr. King and the others were as well, otherwise they would have sued the then-struggling Apple into oblivion.

Who cares if someone besides the dead person okayed the usage? The individual didn't, on account of their being dead and all.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:24 AM on December 22, 2011


Talking of dead innovators and Apple - RIP Jacob Goldman, Founder of Xerox Lab
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on December 22, 2011


Who cares if someone besides the dead person okayed the usage?

The law.
posted by empath at 11:29 AM on December 22, 2011


>Who cares if someone besides the dead person okayed the usage?

The law.


Well, no shit. That's not remotely the issue at hand. The legality's never been in question. "The law" allows for a lot of repugnant things like warrantless wiretapping and corporations not paying taxes. But if you want to make the argument that "legal equals just" go for it.

They did nothing like that.

They did something closely akin to that. They took the images of heroic, selfless dead people and used them for their own gratification. Sorry your favorite consumer electronics company is the one that did it-- if it was Microsoft you'd probably be less likely to willfully miss the point.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:09 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the future, Apple's computers will inspire nothing but hatred. Computers will no longer balance your checkbook, find you directions to granny's, or help with your kid's homework. Nope, it'll just be a tiny, energy-efficient box of beautiful circuitry that extracts every ounce of hatred from humanity, especially from those who don't even use one. It will be called the iHateThis, and it will be the pinnacle of humankind's computing efforts. Oh, what a brave new world it will be — almost like a Clive Barker novel, actually.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:14 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry your favorite consumer electronics company is the one that did it-

Don't be an asshole.
posted by empath at 12:14 PM on December 22, 2011


They did something closely akin to that.

Er, no, they didn't. Now, if you want to come back down to Earth and talk about whether using someones image, with the consent of their estate, as part of an advert is tasteful or not feel free to calm down and do so, but what you are doing right now is being a silly showoff.
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er, no, they didn't.

Nice stripping of my actual explanation with your initial excerpt. Let me employ the same tactics that you just used. You've certainly countered my thrust with your well-reasoned "nuh-uh.":

"Umm, is too!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:35 PM on December 22, 2011


Yes, Curley, Artw is a known "apologist" for Apple.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:38 PM on December 22, 2011


Stop making me agree with the resident Apple shills.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on December 22, 2011


Artw is also a card carrying communist, I've heard.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:57 PM on December 22, 2011


I think many people get the point of why such things are objectionable but at the same time, many people couldn't care less. Advertising has long been known to be rife with absolute bullshit and if people buy into identity/lifestyles marketing and others don't then so be it. At the end of the day advertising has always been thus. It is usually, by it's very nature, offensive in many ways, especially if taken seriously. It is most definitely regularly insulting and most definitely regularly absurd.

Apple is no more special than many other computer and software companies. They all say they're special though and that they'll improve your life emotionally as well as practically. Think Different is no more or less complete bullshit than many other advertising campaigns. It may be astounding that people actually equate freedom and liberty and their identity as distinct individuals with products of any sort but I have a feeling most people do nothing of the sort. It's just that those that do shout the loudest. Slogans serve to most as a reminder of a company or a product. Actual belief in them is rare, unless I'm very much mistaken.

Those that believe otherwise, that iPods have changed the world for the better and all that, that Linux means something politically, that Google is a lovable teddy bear, etc., well, you're not going to convince them otherwise. It'd be just as much a waste of time as someone trying to convince me to give a shit about whether a website was created on a Mac or Windows or that somehow my life is less fulfilled because I use Android instead of an iOS.

When I think of Google for example, I don't even know if they have a slogan but I think of:

Search
Android
Great mail services
Maps
Adwords
Docs
Experimental

In regard to Apple (do they have a slogan or a few right now?) I think:

Outstanding products in many ways
Great design
They put an i in front of nearly everything (we call our new cloud service, wait for it, iCloud)
Lawsuits
Hilarious claims
Hardware limitations are not for me but they're just peachy for others, totally fine with that
iTunes is not for me
iOS ecosystem not for me

I just assume their marketing department is much like most other companies. I saw the Mac/PC adds and what I got from them is extremely bored, the Mac guy is a childish jackass, and the PC guy is a nerd. Couldn't take that seriously since I'm well aware that there are millions of people who use both or either, and they have a variety of personalities, from saintly to complete assholes. Think Different was much like many campaigns in that it attempted to make you feel special because your different and better than all the other mindless drones. Again, not nice, I totally agree, but typical of advertising.

I am reminded of that Volkswagen commercial that basically is supposed to say you'll love your car so much you'll be absurdly protective of it. It shows a guy parking in front of a grocery store and making sure shopping carts don't dent his car. I get the point. I don't take it seriously, of course, but I get it. However, what I also got out of that commercial is that Volkswagen owners are lazy cocks who won't park in a parking spot but rather park where they're not supposed to, obstructing customer traffic. I'm guessing this was not the intended subtext of the ad.
posted by juiceCake at 1:03 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't get behind 'Think Different' being ungrammatical. It's an imperative, you are being told what to think about. You are not being told how to think, which would benefit from an adverb, you are being told 'Different' is the subject track along which your train of thought should travel.

"Think differently" implies that you are currently doing it wrong, whatever you're currently doing. "Think different", contrariwise, suggests there is a requirement to meet in your thinking, which is possession of the property 'Different'. Plus, of course, the slight unsettling nature of the expected adverb being denied subtly re-inforces its message.

disclaimer: I won't have that smug-arse apple tech in my house, lest anyone accuse me of fanboiism. I just love it when grammar nazis are wrong.
posted by Sparx at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I think of Google for example, I don't even know if they have a slogan

It is "Don't be evil."
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:50 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, Curley, Artw is a known "apologist" for Apple.

The only place the word "apologist" appears in the thread is an early comment by burhanistan and the one quoted above. I never said it, I don't even think I suggested it. Don't make up quotes. Just stop responding if you have to resort to those kind of tactics.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:11 PM on December 22, 2011


MC: Maybe take a walk outside or something? Go kick a puppy? I dunno. Seems like you're a little but worked up.
posted by empath at 2:28 PM on December 22, 2011


It is "Don't be evil."

No it isn't. They stuck it in their IPO prospectus so that potential investors wouldn't think they would do absolutely anything to make money, and according to wikipedia: The sixth point of the 10-point corporate philosophy of Google says "You can make money without doing evil." But it isn't their slogan and never has been.
posted by markr at 3:13 PM on December 22, 2011


But it isn't their slogan and never has been.

It's plastered on their website, ffs.

"Don't be evil." Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But "Don't be evil" is much more than that. Yes, it's about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it's also about doing the right thing more generally -- following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect.

If we're talking about bullshit marketing campaigns, Google is full of bullshit when they market themselves as morally clean, especially given the numerous people and inventions they have ripped off, stepped on, and spied into over the last ten-odd years, all in order to line their pockets. What a joke.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:26 PM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh man.

Mayor Curley, if you thought Think Different was masturbatory it's nothing compared with the direction you've pointed this thread in. Sigh...
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on December 22, 2011


Well, he did promise to "alter" a photo of someone's mom.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:33 PM on December 22, 2011


Yes, Curley, Artw is a known "apologist" for Apple.

Witness the power of 15-year-old Apple marketing campaigns! He's finally thinking different!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:35 PM on December 22, 2011


[Few comments removed - This is a polite notice that making the thread all about you and what you're threatening to jerk off on to is inhibitive to community discussion.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:35 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their iPhone but by the content of their playlist."
posted by perhapses at 4:30 PM on December 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's plastered on their website, ffs.

In the code of conduct on their investor relations website. That's not a slogan. Like I said it's "so that potential investors wouldn't think they would do absolutely anything to make money".
posted by markr at 6:06 PM on December 22, 2011


[Few comments removed - This is a polite notice that making the thread all about you and what you're threatening to jerk off on to is inhibitive to community discussion.]

I might possibly have been using metaphor, but I guess it's reasonable to assume that I was seriously considering obtaining a photo and finding a place where a billboard like that would be allowable.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:02 PM on December 22, 2011


I just heard two great stories today about Apple thinking differently.

The first one was about the floppy disk controller on the Apple IIs. Instead of the expensive Western Digital ASICs, Apple used four or five standard off-the-shelf chips that Woz hacked into a floppy controller. Sure, it used GCR instead of FM or MFM, but they used the Integrated Woz Machine until the 3.5" double-density floppies came around.

The second story was about how there was a developer/publisher who wanted to duplicate disks for Mac but didn't want to use Verbatim media or use Apple's duplication partner. Eventually Apple caved and leased the developer six Macintosh prototypes—underpowered equipment for what they wanted to do. So the technical lead opens up the case after hours searching local supply places for a foot-long Torx screwdriver to open the damn things. He finds, of course, an aesthetically-pleasing but hardware-limited motherboard and the signatures of the engineering team on the inside.

So the team lead goes back out and buys all the RAM chips he can find, and eventually gets enough to bring all six computers to 512k. He and his team mod the FUCK out of the motherboards (which are of course only leased to them). And these were not the later Mac 128k motherboards that had blank space for 512k of memory; these were the first motherboards. The added RAM was upside down, pins dangling in the air, attached via insulated wires to new logic circuits that the team lead designed on the fly.

He said Jobs's insistence on an aesthetically-pleasing motherboard made it very easy for him and his people to mod the Macs. When they had the computers set up, he insisted all his team members sign the insides as well before replacing the cases.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:26 PM on December 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


That's a great story.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:39 PM on December 22, 2011


If we're talking about bullshit marketing campaigns, Google is full of bullshit when they market themselves as morally clean.

Absolutely. They are just like Apple and many other companies when it comes to marketing. They market a positive image of themselves. Imagine that.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their iPhone but by the content of their playlist."

Indeed. The sooner we're done with platformism the better. However, judging by the playlist is a big mistake as well. I mean, I know a person who actually enjoys Nickelback and yet they are a great person.
posted by juiceCake at 8:31 AM on December 23, 2011


I like how you rewrote my comment. Nice.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 PM on December 23, 2011


So the team lead goes back out and buys all the RAM chips he can find, and eventually gets enough to bring all six computers to 512k. He and his team mod the FUCK out of the motherboards (which are of course only leased to them). And these were not the later Mac 128k motherboards that had blank space for 512k of memory; these were the first motherboards. The added RAM was upside down, pins dangling in the air, attached via insulated wires to new logic circuits that the team lead designed on the fly.
An ugly board with expansion sockets would have been even easier to mod...

Also, I tore appart a bunch of hardware when I was a kid and this board looks pretty standard for an early/mid 80s computer.
posted by delmoi at 6:13 PM on December 23, 2011


This happens constantly in Isaacson's biography of Jobs - amazing new products, key business decisions, whatever, Jobs will dismiss them as utter crap, and those working with him have to expend enormous energy bringing him around to the right decision. (This is one of many reasons why Isaacson's book is rubbish - he documents these incidents again and again, which makes his insistence that Jobs is the visionary leader he's generally assumed to be a total non sequitur.)
Well, those stories would be more interesting to tell then the times where he said 'yeah, that's good' or 'it's good but lets change this or that'. If his badgering is forcing people to do their best work, then he's still, in a sense, somewhat responsible for it. But on the other hand you have to question whether it's worth it. People like Jobs, Bezos, Balmer, the guy who runs Zynga raise to the top because they're assholes willing to crush everyone in their way.

Google, as a corporation doesn't really come that close to living up to "don't be evil". but on a purely interpersonal level, I don't think I've ever heard of Page or Brin yelling at people or getting into chair throwing histrionics.

I almost wonder if Google wasn't just an anomaly, caused by the fact that their software was just so much better then everything else out there. At the time.
The first one was about the floppy disk controller on the Apple IIs. Instead of the expensive Western Digital ASICs, Apple used four or five standard off-the-shelf chips that Woz hacked into a floppy controller. Sure, it used GCR instead of FM or MFM, but they used the Integrated Woz Machine until the 3.5" double-density floppies came around.
Woz was a genius. No doubt. But it's not really 'thinking different' for an engineer to try to optimize something, that's what you want to try to do.

Jobs was lucky to have hooked up with someone that smart. He's also lucky that Woz didn't find out until years later that jobs ripped him off for $2500. What's the odds that Woz would have went to go work for Apple had he known? That's the risk of being an asshole. Sometimes it works out, but you can close off opportunities.
posted by delmoi at 6:36 PM on December 23, 2011


Yeah I will give her the benefit of the doubt, but her eyes are crazy red.

Not seeing it, Ad hominem. Her eyes look normal. Maybe the problem is people are used to seeing lighting and camerawork designed to wash out imperfections. Or maybe it's projection.

She does look stoned, but so do most teens who don't look like they're on coke.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:26 PM on December 23, 2011


I like how you rewrote my comment. Nice.

Who did that to what comment?
posted by juiceCake at 6:09 PM on December 24, 2011


He's also lucky that Woz didn't find out until years later that jobs ripped him off for $2500.

This is typical of successful businessmen and Jobs was always a businessman first, despite that god awful turtleneck uniform.
posted by juiceCake at 6:11 PM on December 24, 2011


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