Apple Computer wants TBWA Chiat/Day to narrow the focus of its brand and product advertising to select markets where the troubled company remains strong.
TBWA Chiat/Day won the $80 million to $90 million U.S. account last week, as expected (AA, Aug. 4). It now is scrambling to complete a campaign by next month that will break in the fourth quarter.
KEEN ON GROWTH
"Steve Jobs is very keen to rebuild the brand very, very quickly," said David Roman, Apple's VP-advertising and brand communications. "As an agency, Chiat/Day is ideal, especially at this time, to do that."
With the U.S. account in the bag, TBWA International will next make a play for Apple's $50 million to $70 million international business.
"We have to hope to get Apple" internationally, since the agency now is precluded from taking on Apple competitors globally, said TBWA Chairman-CEO William Tragos.
Lee Clow, Venice, Calif.-based chairman-chief creative officer of TBWA Chiat/Day North America, won back Apple just two weeks after being asked for ideas by longtime friend Mr. Jobs, Apple's co-founder and defacto leader.
The agency formerly known as Chiat/Day originally got Apple by acquiring the advertising operations of Regis McKenna Inc. Apple forced out Mr. Jobs in 1985 and moved the account to BBDO Worldwide the next year.
APPLE LOOKING AT PR
Apple's marketing changes aren't complete. The company is evaluating PR, calling into question Burson-Marsteller's future on the business. Mr. Roman, however, said Apple is staying with direct shop Wunderman Cato Johnson, San Francisco, though it's unclear what will happen if sister Wunderman shop Y&R Advertising wins the account of rival Dell Computer Corp. (see story on Page 1).
Neither Wunderman nor Burson is represented on Apple's newly formed "marketing communications council," consisting of Messrs. Jobs, Roman and Clow; Apple Exec VP-Marketing Guerrino De Luca; and Tom Suiter, co-founder of CKS Partners.
THE OLD TEAM
Like Mr. Clow, Mr. Suiter is part of Mr. Jobs' old team. Mr. Suiter has worked with Mr. Jobs at Apple and on Mr. Jobs' two other ventures, Next Computer and Pixar, since 1981.
CKS has long done Apple projects, but Mr. Suiter said CKS now will function as marketing communications agency of record, working on collateral materials, packaging, events and the World Wide Web.
Apple put its U.S. account in review June 26, prompting BBDO Worldwide to quit the global account. TBWA Chiat/Day initially declined an invitation but entered the review in mid-July at Mr. Jobs' request.
In Apple's truncated review, TBWA Chiat/Day and finalist Arnold Communications, Boston, each made a 1-hour presentation at Apple July 30.
Arnold pitched "more kind of guerrilla marketing, grass roots kind of stuff," said Mr. Suiter, who was on the selection committee. "It was a very good strategy."
But it was contest.
"Lee gave a performance," Mr. Suiter said. "He was great, really good strategy, but just the passion was pretty amazing . . . When it's really deep down inside of you emotionally, very important to you, it's very apparent."
Mr. Clow presented spec creative and multiple taglines. While Mr. Roman said it's possible some of the ideas will be used, he added the work was mostly to show the agency's thinking.
Mr. Jobs informed Mr. Clow of Apple's decision July 30, but the agency later asked Apple to delay the announcement until Aug. 8, after last week's Macworld Expo trade show frenzy was over, in hopes of maximizing press coverage.
Mr. Jobs also had a bigger announcement planned for Macworld, unveiling a makeover of Apple's board and a stunning deal under which Microsoft Corp. will invest $150 million in Apple.
FOCUSING ON KEY MARKETS
Mr. Roman said Apple intends to focus its brand and product advertising on "huge, narrow" key markets, including education, and "creative content," such as desktop publishing.
He said Apple formally is giving up any ambitions to compete head-on against other PCs in standard business applications, or even in the "undifferentiated consumer market."
Apple will instead go after consumer niches-homes where education is a key issue or where home users have a need to produce content. As such, the Macintosh Mr. Jobs and Chiat/Day once positioned as the computer for the rest of us now has narrower, more realistic aspirations.