Notes from a Beer-Food-Steve Party at Apple

CobraBoy! (
Wed, 1 Oct 1997 08:14:07 -0700

From a source inside Apple...

Steve J. gave a beer-and-food event at Apple today to celebrate the new
Chiat-Day ad campaign. As
part of his praise for the new ad and its theme, "Think Different", he
read a letter written by the
mother of a child that was "different" regarding her child's response to
the ad. It was a really lovely
letter - brought tears to my eyes. If you can, you should get a copy of
the letter and post it. The letter
was initially sent to someone at Chiat-Day.

(The food was, notably, all vegan).

Steve said that the feedback on the ad was about 75% favorable. The other
25% of negative reactions
to the ad had that "come on, let's show 'em why we kick Microsoft's butt!"
flavor. Steve said that
back when we DID kick Microsoft (DOS's) butt by about a factor of 100,
this was easy to do. Only
took 15...30...maybe 60 seconds at the most to convey that message. Now
that we only kick
Microsoft's butt by a factor of 2 (or thereabouts), this is not a good
strategy because it's much harder
to convince people of that difference that quickly. Rather, we should
adopt the techniques of
someone like Nike.

Actually, he started off with the example of MILK. Way back when, the
Dairy Association tried to
pitch milk (unsuccessfully, and for about a decade) as something that was
"good for you". ("By the
way, it isn't!", said Steve). Now the Milk Council or whatever it calls
itself these days is pitching
milk by a campaign centered on the absence of milk. Bringing back that
smell we all have of our
moms baking cookies. Something we MISS. And it's working!

Then he reminded us of the Nike "just do it" example. "Everyone on the
planet" can tell you what and
who "Just Do It!" stands for. Contrast that with a company like Kinney
shoes, he said. They make
shoes. Just like Nike. But how many of us even remember Kinney? Nike has
The Message. It's
about athletics and success. Not about shoes. We remember that.

He quoted some figures. Apple spends 100 million $ a year on advertising.
And it hasn't done us
much good, Steve admitted. We'll continue to spend the same amount. Not
much more or less. Only
we'll spend it better. Because (this is how *I* interpreted his comments,
I don't remember them
verbatim), our brand is the most - or at least one of the most - valuable
things we have going for us

Then he read the letter I mentioned earlier.

It was a good - no, great - speech, delivered in a "I may sound like I'm
musing but I'm damned sure
of what I'm saying" tone.

And the beer did not suck!


The eyes are the whores of the senses, they'll go to anything. Keith Richards

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