Ken Segall Stories June 3, 2016

AAPL: 97.92

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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 …

expand full story

Ken Segall Stories May 23, 2014

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

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

Ken Segall Stories December 23, 2013

Veteran Apple ad man Ken Segall praises holiday ad – says Apple still thinking differently

Ken Segall, the ad exec behind Apple’s Think Different campaign, and the man who put the i into iMac, has praised Apple’s new holiday ad, saying that it shows Apple is still thinking differently.

This ad is a holiday card from Cupertino. It lines up perfectly with the values Apple has communicated for years. It’s not about technology — it’s about quality of life.

The takeaway is much the same as one gets from the “Designed by Apple in California” ad, but I like it a hundred times more. In that previous effort, Apple simply told us why it is different. This new spot tells an interesting story and lets us draw that conclusion for ourselves. It’s a more artful, more memorable way to make the point.

Once again, Apple demonstrates it’s a different kind of technology company. Most talk about what goes into their phones — Apple shows what we can get out of them … 

Ken Segall Stories August 9, 2013

Former Apple ad consultant Ken Segall: Steve Jobs considered killing off pro products

Ken Segall, author of Insanely Simple and former Apple advertising consultant, today posted a blog entry detailing his views on the evolving definition of “pro” at Apple. In it, Mr. Segall claims that Apple is working to rework the pro industry and grow a “larger audience of high-end consumers who can suddenly understand, enjoy and benefit” from the apps and hardware.

An even more interesting tidbit is what he reveals about Steve Jobs’ plans for the company’s pro products:

Could it possibly be? Would Apple ever even think about saying goodbye to the pro market?

I hope you’re sitting down for this, but Steve Jobs did in fact once consider that very option.

This was back in the days when iMac had established itself as a global bestseller. During one of the agency’s regular meetings with Steve, he shared that he was considering killing the pro products.

His rationale was as you might expect: consumer products have an unlimited upside, while pro products are aimed at a niche market that eats up major resources.

While FCP X wasn’t initially well-received by professionals, Logic Pro X has been receiving great reviews and the upcoming Mac Pro innovations display Apple’s continued commitment to developing powerful pro apps and hardware, despite the smaller market size and potential profits.

Ken Segall Stories February 26, 2013

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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

Ken Segall Stories April 26, 2012

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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