If you watched the movie Jobs, you may recall Steve recording the words to the “Here’s to the crazy ones” ad, looking at the camera and asking “Is that ok?”. The reality, says Ken Segall, the creative director behind Apple’s famous Think Different campaign, was rather different. Speaking in an interview with MacWorld, he said:

Imagine you’re in this lonely, empty auditorium, he’s just finished that reading, and the words are just ringing in the air, and then their was a great pause, and he said: ‘That’s it, I’m out of here. This is a horrible idea,’ and he stormed off.

While Jobs loved the words, he thought it was a terrible idea to narrate them personally – he thought everyone would think him an egomaniac and they wouldn’t hear the message. Segall says that things didn’t begin well.

He was late and he said ‘I’m really busy today I don’t have time for this, I don’t like the idea, but I’ll give you one read and then I’m out of here’. So he did it.

In the end, Jobs got his way: the ad that was actually aired was narrated by Richard Dreyfuss – but it was the Jobs version that went viral after the death of Apple’s co-founder.

Via Fortune

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4 Responses to “Think Different ad man recalls the truth behind Steve Jobs narrating The Crazy Ones ad: “a horrible idea””

  1. It somehow leaves us with a realization, no matter how inadequate or incomplete it is, that Steve jobs may not have done something right when he chose not to use his voice for the campaign, which undoubtedly became one of the most successful campaigns in Apple’s history, and more so after Steve passed away. But the idea that he could probably foresee the campaign having a wider and farther reach with someone else’s voice, seems to be missing, and often forgotten. Steve, the co-founder, who had been brought back again to the company, and who put the company’s interest over himself could very well see why it was not right for him to do it, and had the honesty to allow Apple’s voice over his own to reach out to the people who grew up to love Apple so much, and thanked him for doing what he had to do to get everything right.

    When they played it again at the Apple Campus Memorial after this demise, but this time the one with his own voice, it surely came as a surprise to many, and left people with nothing but respect for the man. What is said back when he was asked to do it is nothing but rude, in hindsight.


  2. aeronperyton says:

    That’s our Steve. :P


  3. “While Jobs loved the words, he thought it was a terrible idea to narrate them personally – he thought everyone would think him an egomaniac and they wouldn’t hear the message.”

    I believe his shows another, often overlooked, part of his character that shows how complex a person he was which is the main reason that most people did not, and still do no get him.


  4. standardpull says:

    I think it shows how he had such tremendous regard for some of those highlighted in the ad, and how he felt that he wasn’t among them.

    Jobs was a tremendous business man. But no business men made it into the ad. Because they are intrinsically not great.