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It's not a product, it's a lifestyle
November 3, 2009 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Lee Clow, the Chief Creative Officer at Apple’s ad agency TBWA, BFF of Steve Jobs, and “advertising’s art-director guru,” has decided to step down from his post. (Clow is also responsible for the Energizer Bunny and the Taco Bell Chihuahua.)

Here are ten of Flavorwire's favorite Apple campaigns.
posted by four panels (48 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Immediately after, Clow said he "wasn't going anwhere"
posted by thedaniel at 1:12 PM on November 3, 2009


3. “Get a Mac” The first! Justin Long owes Mr. Clow a favor.

Right, like Hodgman doesn't?
posted by dersins at 1:28 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, like Hodgman doesn't?

Hodgman became more famous for it, but as a typecasted roll. Sure, he's been playing into that adorable nerd stereotype for a while, but this really set things.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:33 PM on November 3, 2009


That 1984 commerical is deliciously ironic these days.
posted by mullingitover at 1:43 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Really?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of Macs, but godDAMN do I hate those Hodgman/Long ads.
posted by brundlefly at 1:52 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not a big fan of Macs, but godDAMN do I hate ads.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:56 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't like the "Think Different" ads. You can't steal Ghandi's or King's mojo just to sell shit. It's really not cool. The rest of the ads strike me as being ads.
posted by GuyZero at 1:59 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Immediately after, Clow said he "wasn't going anwhere"

How does one go about getting one of those Apple surfboards?
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:01 PM on November 3, 2009


1. Become Chairman of Media Arts Lab, Global Creative Director of Media Arts and
Chief Creative Officer of TBWA Worldwide.

2. Tell someone to make one of those Apple surboards.

3. PROFIT
posted by dersins at 2:13 PM on November 3, 2009


brundlefly, you can find someone that hates anything. Maybe if you told us why you hate the Hodgman/Long ads? Maybe it has to do with the typing of young hipsters as loving the Macintosh computer, which increases the chances that Mac enthusiasts will be insufferable creative types?
posted by JHarris at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2009


You know why PC fanboys hate the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ads?

Because they work on non-technical people and for the most part they're pretty correct. They're also memorable and as much as the engadget crowd like to think "Justin Long is such a douchebag and he'll never sell a Mac to me HURF DURF!" the larger crowd still think he's a likeable guy. If he wasn't you'd see one of the Jonas brothers playing a Mac faster than you can blink.

I actually had to talk my housemate out of buying a Mac the other day. He's been using my old 20" Core Duo iMac for playing WoW when he's been home since he leaves his laptop at his girlfriend's place. He points to a A$4,000 Mac Pro and asks me deadpan "You reckon that would be good for gaming? 8 cores and all". Just playing a single game on an iMac was enough to turn him over.

20 minutes of explaining that Mac Pros weren't for us mere mortals and how annoying it is to be a gamer on a Mac (I still own PCs for that very reason) he finally reached the decision he should have made in the first place, buy a PC.
posted by Talez at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't like the "Think Different" ads. You can't steal Ghandi's or King's mojo just to sell shit. It's really not cool. The rest of the ads strike me as being ads.

I always found that deeply ironic. Becoming part of a mass purchasing class doesn't do shit for solidifying one's identity as someone who "[has] no respect for the status quo." And in fact, wanting to solidify one's identity as such in the first place is usually kind of a red flag.
posted by liketitanic at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2009


> 1. Become Chairman of Media Arts Lab, Global Creative Director of Media Arts and Chief Creative Officer of TBWA Worldwide. 2. Tell someone to make one of those Apple surboards. 3. PROFIT

You got steps 2 and 3 confused.
posted by ardgedee at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


All I know is that Ghandi's hunger strike and MLK's "I have a dream" speech were all about buying trendy computers.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:23 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't find all the Apple ads particularly tasteful, but I'll be damned if they're not directly responsible for the brand's cachet today. The guy knows his stuff.
posted by potch at 2:31 PM on November 3, 2009


dirigibleman: don't be so cynical. He did have a dream -- a dream of owning an awesome laptop with a magnetic power cord. He had a dream that one day this nation would rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "No tech support without AppleCare."
posted by cgomez at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hodgman became more famous for it, but as a typecasted roll.

Kinda like the famous Parker House Rolls.
posted by ericb at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2009


20 minutes of explaining... how annoying it is to be a gamer on a Mac

I'd think that given the trend towards standard hardware on the Mac they'd be pretty good PCs. However, I'm not a gamer, so I really don't know the details. Can you explain?
posted by weston at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2009


JHarris: "Maybe it has to do with the typing of young hipsters as loving the Macintosh computer, which increases the chances that Mac enthusiasts will be insufferable creative types?"

Kinda, yeah. Or rather, the typing of Macs as being the computers loved by young hipsters and nothing more. Also, Justin Long just rubs me the wrong way.
posted by brundlefly at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2009



I'd think that given the trend towards standard hardware on the Mac they'd be pretty good PCs. However, I'm not a gamer, so I really don't know the details. Can you explain?


There are fewish games that run in OSX. Apple's Windows drivers suck ass, and the hardware upgrade options can be limited, particularly for video cards.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:30 PM on November 3, 2009


I'm a big fan of Macs, but godDAMN do I hate those Hodgman/Long ads.

I'm also a Mac user and usually a fan. And I'm always a Hodge fan.

But I also hate those ads, because the PC is so clueless but likable while the Mac is a smartass prick.

It's more a criticism/parody of the Apple image than a helpful message.
posted by rokusan at 3:32 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Exactly, rokusan. Also, I should say: I love Hodgman.
posted by brundlefly at 3:34 PM on November 3, 2009


I'd think that given the trend towards standard hardware on the Mac they'd be pretty good PCs. However, I'm not a gamer, so I really don't know the details. Can you explain?

The hardware is fine. The software situation on the other hand is less than ideal.

Rebooting to play a game and losing access to all your background apps on OS X and the like is annoying. Crossover Games is still buggy. Parallels/VMWare is still slow.
posted by Talez at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


leeclowsbeard:

Hence the abiding. RT @chiatdaynight: Mr Clow is not going anywhere. News of his retirement has been greatly exaggerated.
11:41 AM Oct 30th from Tweetie

The beard abides.
10:25 AM Oct 30th from Tweetie
posted by tellurian at 3:43 PM on November 3, 2009


I don't really get the "smartass prick" criticism of Long's Mac character. I read him as having a friend who is really rich, being the son of a wealthy industrialist, and not too bright. He can drive a better car and throw money around and everyone knows he's a bit dumb and unreliable but they put up with him because he's who he is. Mac is never really mean to PC, he just sometimes underscores that PC is kinda making an ass of himself. And of course PC being PC is a bit too thick to take the hint.

And I say this as someone who has never owned a single Apple product, and probably never will as long as there are alternatives that cost 30% as much no matter how much I have to stir the antimatter with my hands to keep them working.
posted by localroger at 3:48 PM on November 3, 2009


I'm a PC User and I love the Hodgman/Long Ads, but I'm a fan of both Long and Hodgman so what do I know? Also : The Penny Arcade Guys take it on

I was always partial to the Ellen Feiss ad because she looked stoned; it's cute in a commercial that isn;t about how being stoned is a read "downer". It even appears that being stoned did nothing to dampen her appreciation of her iMac either.

As for the rest of the Ads, it's advertising; if it compels people to buy your product, great. I personally think that a decent ad campaign mixed with positive word of mouth works better. A well promoted box of shit is still a box of shit, right? Isn't that right frequent internet punching bag Glenn Beck?
posted by NiteMayr at 3:51 PM on November 3, 2009


The ads anthropomorphize complex code bases, complex technological devices, complex economic frameworks and massively influential corporate products/interests.

If you can't simultaneously appreciate the humor, recognize the angles involved and infer beyond the actors then you will inevitably have a very real emotional response to the ads.

That's marketing.

Me? My computer that wears jeans just works.
posted by vectr at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2009


That 1984 commerical is deliciously ironic these days.

Exactly. And also exactly on the Gandhi thing. "Switch from OmniMegaCorp to MerelyHugeButAlsoHasControlIssuesCorp!" Yeah. How about some actual freedom<>?
posted by DU at 4:13 PM on November 3, 2009


My favorite has to be the Simpson's product placements Eat Up Martha
posted by wcfields at 4:14 PM on November 3, 2009


Mac snobs looking down their noses at PC fanboys via a web page that is aimed at rating Mac advertisements on their wonderful Maciness. That's pushing the envelope, now, isn't it?
posted by Chuffy at 4:38 PM on November 3, 2009


Remind me again who's looking down their noses at whom, and where they're doing it? 'Cause I'm not seeing hat in this thread, but maybe the view from up there on your high horse is different from the one down here.
posted by dersins at 4:43 PM on November 3, 2009


GuyZero: "I didn't like the "Think Different" ads. You can't steal Ghandi's or King's mojo just to sell shit. It's really not cool. The rest of the ads strike me as being ads."

I'm sure they've been contacted through a psychic medium and have given their posthumous endorsements.
posted by alexei at 4:49 PM on November 3, 2009


Cue "Lawrence Olivier for Diet Coca-Cola"
posted by GuyZero at 4:55 PM on November 3, 2009


I still like the Mac / PC ads, but my favorite Apple ads have to be the remixed "Drunk Jeff Goldblum" ones (only linked to one, but there are a bunch of them out there)
posted by Mchelly at 4:58 PM on November 3, 2009


How does one go about getting one of those Apple surfboards?

I guess you mean these. If so, there's a "Buy one here" link at this page: Meyerhoffer.com.

But you remind me that I've been expecting Apple to make an iSurfboard, or iSurf, or something for many years now. A simple touchscreen web tablet.

I've always wanted one of those, tucked between the sofa cushions. Netbooks are too clumsy and iPhones are a bit small for a quick Wikipedia or IMDB lookup, or to check on the latest 4,300 comment MeFi flame war.
posted by rokusan at 5:10 PM on November 3, 2009


I don't really get the "smartass prick" criticism of Long's Mac character.

I can't really explain it. I just want to punch him.
posted by rokusan at 5:11 PM on November 3, 2009


GanDHi, not GHandi, FFS.
posted by dhruva at 6:06 PM on November 3, 2009


Pepsi Bondi Blue.
posted by ColdChef at 6:53 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


That 1984 commerical is deliciously ironic these days.

Really?

Really. Just ask DVD Jon.
posted by MikeMc at 7:02 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


But I also hate those ads, because the PC is so clueless but likable while the Mac is a smartass prick.

That's the problem, Mac guy isn't unlikeable. He reminds of this guy I knew in high school. He was the star basketball player. Incredibly "popular", only he was actually popular because he was a genuinely nice, down-to-earth guy (I actually played on his team in organised basketball. I was easily the worst player on the team and he was easily the best, not just on the team, but in the league). I remember one time after gym class, the meathead "I'm joining the Marines*" guy started in on the guy who was born in Vietnam with shit like "I bet you know what napalm smells like!" Just unbelievable shit like that. Well, basketball guy was the only one to say, basically "WTF, dude?"**

I don't know where I was going with that, but my point is, Mac guy seems to be caught in this almost Kafka-esque*** world where he has to defend Macs, because he's Mac Guy(TM), but he really feels for that PC guy, who probably could come up with good arguments for PCs with Windows if he weren't so naive and maybe a little under-socialized. But The Beings who created this situation in the commercial have decided that PC guy will be Goofus and Mac Guy is Gallant. And fuck you, Mac Guy, you will make PC Guy look like a fool. Again. I swear to God, I see Mac Guy wince when PC Guy does something "stupid".

I feel, and associate with, PC Guy mostly, but I also empathise with Mac Guy, because in certain situations, I've been Mac Guy. Someone who got (maybe) deserved credit, but in a way that makes the creditor look like a bully-douche.

Also, I think I identify too much with characters in commercials.

*I know the Marines are known for both extreme xenophobia and extreme sense-beating-into. I hope he got more of the latter and less of the former.

**I don't know why I put this here. Maybe because that's not actually what he said. But that's the gist.

***If I were less drunk and more literate, I could probably come up with something better than Kafka-esque.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:42 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was an epic piece of bean-plating, dirigibleman. I'm actually looking forward to seeing one of the ads so I can read all of that into it!
posted by brundlefly at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2009


Oh shit
posted by dirigibleman at 10:36 PM on November 3, 2009


No, I'm not knocking it! You should hear me go off about how the movie "Voyage to the Center of the Earth 3D" is actually Biblical literalist propaganda.
posted by brundlefly at 11:05 PM on November 3, 2009


Frontline. Emotional Branding. You've been worked.
posted by vapidave at 12:06 AM on November 4, 2009


I find myself continuously annoyed with the current campaign with Hodgman & Long, because based on my experience with PCs they're full of lies. I've had a PC since I was 10 years old (14 yrs) and I've never had a virus or seen the "blue screen of death" or whatever they call it, or anything else they mention as damning. I suppose if you don't know how to use your PC you'll run into trouble, but if I can figure out how to use & protect mine, then so can any other technological half wit. Not to mention that PC is soooo much more likable than Mac! He's absolutely adorable, whereas Mac is just so average and monotone.

Also, I don't care how many times the Apple people say they didn't intend for "different" in "think different" to be an adverb, that's how it reads to me, it's grammatically borked. So that ad campaign really turned me off too.
posted by zarah at 5:16 AM on November 4, 2009


MetaFilter: If I were less drunk and more literate, I could probably come up with something better.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:09 AM on November 4, 2009


Here's my take. I grew up being told that resorting to making personal comments about your opponent in a disagreement or debate is uncool, and a sign of not having anything substantial to say. In all the years they have been running I've seen the central fact of the Mac/PC ads as this: they invented a buffoonish straw man PC character simply in order to make ad hominem character insults of this character, and to have an "innocent" Mac character who seems like a disinterested bystander to this personal insinuation (though of course it is Apple making the entire insult ad, in addition to being personified by the very pleasant Justin Long). In that way Apple's strategy is not unlike the third party political attack ads that take cheap personal shots at an opponent under a deceptive "third party" disguise.

But all this over-thinking may just be the residual textual studies grad student in me talking. Sorry about that. I do enjoy my iPod and happily it syncs very well from a Win version of iTunes.

kirkaracha: MetaFilter: If I were less drunk and more literate, I could probably come up with something better.

Conversely, if I were more drunk and less literate, I probably wouldn't have posted this.
posted by aught at 6:21 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


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