Lee Clow, Advertising Legend Behind Apple’s ‘1984’ and ‘Think Different’ Ads, is Retiring
One of the biggest strengths of Apple’s is its marketing efforts, with some of the results being so iconic they’ll last generations.
The “Think Different” and “1984” ad campaigns, for instance, will be some of those. Apple has an advertising legend to thank for those advertisements. His name is Lee Clow and he has just announced his retirement from Apple’s advertising agency partner TBWA. Up until now, Clow has been serving as the ad agency’s Global Director. Now, with the announced retirement, he will be moving into a “Chairman Emeritus of TBWA\Media Arts Lab” advisory role. That specific department was created in 2006 by Clow to serve Apple directly.
“The Global Director of Media Arts at worldwide advertising collective TBWA, and founder and Chairman of TBWA\Media Arts Lab, will move into an advisory role as Chairman Emeritus of the agency he founded in 2006 to serve Apple and to embody his vision of an agency that impacts culture, rather than just ‘makes ads.’
‘The years I spent doing this thing called ‘advertising’ have been fun: challenging, rewarding, maddening—sometimes painful—but mostly, joyful. And I wouldn’t trade a day of it.” Clow—an original Chiat\Day partner and one-time TBWA\Worldwide Chairman—mused, in his “Love Note to Advertising,’ released today.”
Clow worked with Apple for more than 30 years. During that time, Clow helped serve up the aforementioend “Think Different” and “1984” advertisements. But that’s certainly not all. Clow also brought the “Mac vs PC” ads to light. Those colorful silhouette ads for the iPod and iTunes? Those were helped to market by Clow as well.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, weighed in on the retirement:
“During his long partnership with Steve and Apple, Lee told powerful visual stories that elevated new technologies with the passion, creativity and ingenuity that define our own humanity. He helped Apple carry itself through times of challenge, and his work inspired audiences to look beyond the horizon as an exciting future came into view. Lee’s body of work over five decades hums with cleverness, warmth and enthusiasm—and there is no doubt that it will inspire and motivate generations of ‘Crazy Ones’ still to come.”
The ad market is losing a legend, but there is no doubt that Clow’s impact on Apple, and marketing in general, will ever be forgotten.
Here are just some of the ads:
Which one of the old school Apple ads are some of your favorites? How do you feel about Apple’s newest ads, like the “Color Flood” iPhone XR ad the company released not too long ago? Think it is anywhere near as good as these older ads?
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