Apple computer picks Carat

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PARIS -- Apple Computer Europe has named Carat to its $15m-$20m pan-European media account to bring a "fresh perspective" that will fit with the company's new advertising strategy.

Optimum Media Direction, the European media arm of Omnicom, is the losing incumbent, against whom Carat pitched.

The change is part of an overall shake-up of Apple's ad strategy in Europe which saw the recent award of its creative account to TBWA International, following TBWA Chiat/Day's appointment in the U.S. BBDO Worldwide resigned the Apple account when the computer marketer called a review last June.

OMD will continue to handle media for BBDO-produced work, which will continue to run until mid-November, but Carat will handle the new campaign from TBWA, expected to kick off late November or early December in France and the U.K. TBWA and Carat will be Apple's sole agencies in Europe from the beginning of 1998.

"Our relationship with Optimum in Europe was good," says Francois Ruault, Apple's Paris-based European advertising manager responsible for the review. "But we felt we needed a fresh perspective on how we should invest our media dollars."

The brief for the new media strategy is to be more creative, "over time, over countries and over TV channels," he says. For instance, pan-European media and TV, both hardly used by Apple currently, are expected to be included in the new line-up. TV, billboards and print will form the mainstay of the media mix.

The new campaign, "Think Different," marks a shift in Apple advertising from product- led to image-led. The goal for the BBDO work was to "re-establish" Apple's leadership in technology and performance terms, Ruault says. The plan now is to appeal to "creative achievers" - part of Apple's corporate mission "to provide technology to people who think differently to achieve bigger and better things," he adds.

"We are quite proud of the [BBDO] campaign and BBDO should be," Ruault says. "But that corresponded to the previous goal. We want to move from the MHz approach to something in which most Apple customers will recognize themselves."

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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