Today in Apple history: ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ who ‘think different’

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The Apple
Do you remember when Apple told you to think different?
Photo: Apple

September 28: Today in Apple history: Apple 'think different' television commercial says 'here's to the crazy ones' September 28, 1997: Apple debuts its iconic “Think different” television commercial, aligning the troubled computer company with some of history’s most famous freethinking rebels.

The most famous tagline in Apple history, “Think different” doesn’t just articulate how Cupertino differs from its competitors. It also highlights how Apple, under the leadership of Steve Jobs, will forge a future far different from its floundering, money-losing days of the early 1990s.

Today in Apple history: Flash controversy results in banned iPhone ad

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First gen iPhone
The internet wasn't quite so seamless on the first-gen iPhone.
Photo: Traci Dauphin/Cult of Mac

August 27: Today in Apple history: Flash controversy results in banned iPhone ad August 27, 2008: The U.K. bans an iPhone ad for apparently misleading consumers.

The misleading bit? The ad overhypes the iPhone’s internet-surfing abilities. It does this by not mentioning that the device doesn’t support Adobe Flash — which is vital to internet surfing in 2008. How times change, eh?

Photo fakery in smartphone ads shows genius of ‘Shot on iPhone’

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Shot on iPhone
A picture and three words are advertising gold.
Photo courtesy of Jen Pollack Bianco

Within a week’s time, two of the Apple’s biggest rivals got caught using misleading photos in ad campaigns that promoted the quality of their smartphones’ built-in cameras.

The embarrassing screwups of Samsung and Huawei showcase the simple brilliance of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

Today in Apple history: Apple fan Jerry Seinfeld joins the dark side

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Microsoft ad
"What's the deal with bad advertising?"
Photo: Microsoft

August 21: Today in Apple history: Jerry Seinfeld appears in failed Microsoft ads August 21, 2008: Microsoft recruits comedian Jerry Seinfeld for a series of ads. It’s a naked attempt to shake the company’s reputation as a stodgy oldster (as opposed to Apple’s trendsetting hipster image).

Microsoft pays Seinfeld a reported $10 million for the ads. However, thanks to the Mac’s appearance in virtually every episode of Seinfeld over the years, the comedian remains the world’s most famous Apple fanboy.

Today in Apple history: ‘Misunderstood’ iPhone ad wins Emmy

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The heartwarming
"Misunderstood" earns Apple its second Emmy.
Photo: Apple

Aug 18 Today in Apple history: Apple's 'Misunderstood' iPhone ad wins Emmy August 18, 2014: A Christmas-themed iPhone ad lands Apple an Emmy for “Most Outstanding Commercial of the Year.”

The prize-winning spot is Apple’s “Misunderstood” iPhone 5s ad. It depicts a silent teenager who won’t spend time with his family at Christmas because he’s too busy with his iPhone. At the end of the ad, he reveals that he’s not actually being a misanthrope. He used his iPhone and iMovie to shoot and edit a heartwarming family montage!

iPhone ads appeal to young people, confuse their elders

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What you think of recent iPhone ads depends heavily on when you were born.
A new study finds that what you think of recent iPhone ads depends heavily on when you were born.
Photo: UserTesting

Apple’s latest TV ads are fast-paced and colorful. But a study by a market-research firm finds that Baby Boomers feel these ads aren’t aimed at them.

The analysts theorize this is because Apple isn’t trying to advertise the iPhone to anyone but young people.

Today in Apple history: It’s time to ‘Think different’

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Think-Different
And just like that, a catchy slogan turns into an earworm.
Image: Apple

August 8: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces new Apple new slogan, Think different August 8, 1997: At Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs introduces the world to Apple’s new slogan, “Think different.” The catchy marketing reassures fans that Apple is exiting its mid-1990s dark age and once again making products customers will love.

It’s the beginning of Apple’s most iconic advertising campaign since the original “1984” Macintosh ad.

Steve Jobs’ marketing guru slags Apple advertising as boring

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Author Ken Segall worked in advertising with Steve Jobs for more than a dozen years. His new book is called Think Simple.
Ken Segall worked in advertising with Steve Jobs for more than a dozen years. Now he'd like CEO Tim Cook to Think Different about marketing.
Photo: Doug Schneider Photography

Quick, what’s the advertising slogan Apple uses for the iPhone X? How about for the iPad? What was the theme of the last Apple ad you saw?

If you shrugged your shoulders at all these questions, then you’ll understand why a former Apple ad man sees problems with the company’s current advertising strategy.

Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese helps Apple promote Siri

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Scorsese Siri
"Hey Siri, am I here to f***ing amuse you?"
Photo: Apple

July 23: Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese helps Apple promote Siri July 23, 2012: Looking for the perfect spokesman for its new Siri virtual assistant, Apple turns to the filmmaker behind some of Hollywood’s most violent gangster movies.

That’s what happens when a new television ad debuts showing legendary film director Martin Scorsese using Siri. The latest of Apple’s celebrity-studded Siri ads, this turns out to be among the best.