Thinking Different

This past Saturday was the anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death two years ago. To commemorate the anniversary, the Do You Have A Mountain Bike? (DYHAMB?) network has put together an ambitious tribute to Jobs and the idea of the visionary this week. I had the pleasure to contribute a small audio piece about Jobs and the Think Different ad campaign to their “Very Special Special” podcast. If you haven’t heard of DYHAMB? before, check them out, they are up and coming.

While researching the Think Different campaign for my piece, I came across a wonderful article about its creation by a key member of the ad firm that created it. Rob Siltanen gives an in depth and personal account of working on the campaign, and specifically with Jobs himself.

Jobs was quiet during the pitch, but he seemed intrigued throughout, and now it was time for him to talk. He looked around the room filled with the “Think Different” billboards and said, “This is great, this is really great … but I can’t do this. People already think I’m an egotist, and putting the Apple logo up there with all these geniuses will get me skewered by the press.” The room was totally silent. The “Think Different” campaign was the only campaign we had in our bag of tricks, and I thought for certain we were toast. Steve then paused and looked around the room and said out loud, yet almost as if to his own self, “What am I doing? Screw it. It’s the right thing. It’s great. Let’s talk tomorrow.” In a matter of seconds, right before our very eyes, he had done a complete about-face.

While the article reveals that Jobs was not the original creator of the Think Different campaign, he championed it because it truly captured his vision of Apple’s core philosophy. To me, even though Apple has created some brilliant advertising in its over thirty year history, none has reached the level of Think Different.

Check back tomorrow for a gallery of all the beautiful black and white Think Different ads.