Apple Teams With New Ad Agencies To Counter Samsung Threat

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When you’ve got $158.8 billion in the bank, there’s not a huge amount you need to be envious of.

But while Apple is beating rival Samsung on both the quality of its products and adverts, it is perhaps losing out when it comes to the kind of big digital media strategies that really attract attention (and customers) — like Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscars selfie which Publicis CEO Maurice Levy recently valued at between $800 million and $1 billion.

With that in mind, Apple is reportedly changing up its marketing approach to invest more in digital marketing and social media support — adding four new digital agencies to its roster.

These include WPP’s AKQA, Interpublic Group’s Huge, and New York-based indie shops Area 17 and Kettle.

While neither the agencies nor Apple have shed any light on their strategy, the scope of the work is said to be broad — and will most likely include user experience and digital strategy, alongside other elements, according to sources close to the deal.

The new hires won’t impact on any of Apple’s existing relationships with agencies — including TBWA/Media Arts Lab, which Apple has worked with since Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in 1997.

Apple’s dismay at being left behind in terms of advertising was seen by an email exchange between Phil Schiller and TBWA, which became public thanks to the current patent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung.

Although moves like Apple’s touching holiday commercial “Misunderstood” are definitely a leap in the right direction, Apple clearly feels more needs to be done to turn the advertising tide in its favor.

Hey, if we get more “Misunderstood” and less of this sort of thing, I’m all for it. What do you think?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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