Steve Jobs’ ad man Ken Segall says Apple’s advertising has lost momentum to Samsung

In the video above, Bloomberg West speaks with 72andSunny’s partner and creative director Jason Norcross about the thinking behind some of Samsung’s latest campaigns. 

If there is one person qualified to discuss the state of Apple’s current marketing efforts, it’s Ken Segall. Working alongside Steve Jobs’ creative team for more than a decade, Segall, the man who put the “i” in iMac, served as creative director at ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. He created some of Apple’s most iconic ads such as the legendary Think Different campaign. Segall took some time on his Observatory blog today to share his thoughts on how “momentum has been lost” for Apple’s marketing department at the hands of none other than the company’s biggest rival, Samsung:

While you can still argue that Macs and i-devices have a ton of appeal, you can’t argue that Apple is still untouchable when it comes to advertising…The fact is, it is being touched — often and effectively — by none other than Samsung…Samsung has made remarkable inroads in a very short time, for two big reasons.

According to Segall, the two big reasons Samsung’s advertising has eclipsed Apple’s is due to Sammy’s massive advertising budget and willingness to “bash away at Apple, delivering ads that are well produced, well written and seem to be striking a nerve.” Specifically, Segall pointed to Samsung’s decision to run creative new ads at the Super Bowl and Oscars:  Read more

Steve Jobs almost engaged in Willy Wonka fantasy but was foiled by California law

Update: Ken Segall’s Insanely Simple book just landed in the iBookstore for $12.99. Full excerpt after the break.

There are a few interesting stories coming out of Ken Segall’s “Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success,” which is set for release later this month available now. Perhaps the most intriguing story is the one about Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs and his idea to celebrate the sale of the millionth original iMac shortly after his return to the company. Jobs’ idea was apparently to hold a Willy Wonka style competition –golden ticket and all– allowing a lucky recipient to win a behind-the-scenes trip to Cupertino and a free iMac. He also planned to dress up in the full Willy Wonka outfit to greet the winners, rockin’ a top hat, velvet blazer, and bow tie (via MacRumors):

Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.

Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.

The idea was apparently cancelled when Apple figured out California state law required the contest to not require a purchase for entry. Apple would have had to open the contest to all, likely squashing Jobs’ idea of handing out the prize to new iMac purchasers.

Last year, CollegeHumor ran its own darker version of Charlie and the Apple factory with Jobs playing the Wonka role: Read more

New book ‘Insanely Simple’ focuses on Apple’s simplicity, releases in April

There are people—yours truly included—who felt genuinely dumbfounded having read both the authorized “Steve Jobs” biography by Walter Isaacson and Adam Lashinsky’s “Inside Apple.” Do not get me wrong, Isaacson and Lashinsky are among the best contemporary wordsmiths, and their work enlightened us with some previously unknown details about the inner-workings of Apple and the man who cofounded it. Nonetheless, the authors dedicated way too many pages to the stuff we already knew, and their writing style may not appeal to the Technorati accustomed to fast-paced news reporting and sensationalist headlines. Hoping to fill this gap and tell the untold story about Apple of California from a different angle, writer Ken Segall committed to a project tentatively named “Insanely Simple – The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success” (via Daring Fireball).

Few would dare argue that Apple’s agonizing over the tiniest and seemingly unimportant details is what makes the products so pleasurable to use. Segall should know what makes Apple tick: He coined the iMac moniker during his 12-year tenure at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Apple’s and NeXT’s advertising agency, and he now runs an Apple parody website you are probably familiar with called Scoopertino. The author explained the reasoning behind his ambitious undertaking on his personal blog:

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