Apple has reportedly instructed its ad agency, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, to move away from localizing big global campaigns for Apple and more on creating regional campaigns, designed to appeal more specifically to individual markets.
“TBWA\Media Arts Lab is reorganizing and introducing a new operating model to keep pace with the way people consume media and content,” an agency spokesperson told Adweek. “This will result in a reduction in areas such as localization and further investment in areas such as digital, social, data analytics, content creation and a more diverse set of strategic skills. We will also have greater integration with media partners at OMD.”
The transition is already having on impact on TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which is likely to be laying off a number of staff at its Los Angeles headquarters as a result of the change in direction. In its place, Apple will be farming out more work to local team in places like London and Tokyo.
The result of these changes can already be seen with the arrival of Apple’s iPhone 7 “Carnival” ad, which was created by the São Paulo-based Lew’Lara\TBWA office.
Apple will also be focusing more on digital and social media ads, which won’t be broadcast online, but will rather run on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Giving more autonomy to local markets is only going to become more important as Apple continues its expansion into developing markets such as India, rather than focusing predominantly on the U.S.
It’s no secret that Apple execs haven’t been entirely happy with Apple’s advertising strategy for a while now. Released emails from a few years back show Phil Schiller slating the TBWA\Media Arts Lab team for a perceived drop-off in quality.
Hopefully this shift in strategy can help!