Ken Segall Stories June 3

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Update: I referred to the rather misleading headline the Guardian had chosen, and Segall has now posted on his own site that “the Guardian chose to give it a click-bait headline that contradicted my point of view.”

Ken Segall, the former Apple ad consultant who coined the iMac name, wrote the copy for the famous ‘Think different’ campaign and authored the book Insanely Simple, says that Apple is beginning to lose touch with its heritage of simplicity. He gave his assessment of Apple’s ‘state of simplicity’ in a piece for the Guardian.

Though Apple’s customers remain fiercely loyal, the natives are getting restless. A growing number of people are sensing that Tim Cook’s Apple isn’t as simple as Steve’s Apple. They see complexity in expanding product lines, confusing product names, and the products themselves.

While the Guardian‘s headline makes the piece seem entire critical, it’s actually very balanced …

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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:  expand full story

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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: expand full story


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