Steve Jobs’ Ad Man Ken Segall Rips Apple Advertising

Noted advertising executive and former Apple ad employee Ken Segall doesn’t normally go out of his way to rip his former company in their current marketing efforts, but when he does, it’s probably best that you take his word. 

Segall has plenty of years of experience to talk on the subject of advertising. In his career, he has worked alongside Steve Jobs and his creative team, produced the widely lauded Think Different Apple campaign and even added the “i” in iMac.

On Tuesday morning, Segall took to his Observatory blog to share his thoughts on the latest round of Apple advertising and its losing battle with top competitor Samsung.

“While you can still argue that Macs and i-devices have a ton of appeal, you can’t argue that Apple is still untouchable when it comes to advertising…The fact is, it is being touched — often and effectively –  by none other than Samsung…Samsung has made remarkable inroads in a very short time, for two big reasons.”

According to Segall, Apple is losing the war in advertising. In the past month alone, Samsung has eclipsed Apple in that department due in large part to their new ads on the Super Bowl and the Oscars. And they’ve come out fighting. The past few television spots have seen Samsung bash away at Apple, producing well-written and genuine ads to reach its audience in a way that the Cupertino-based company has yet to figure out.

“In contrast to Apple, which has been sticking to its product-based ads, Samsung has been scoring points with its people-based ads — most of which play off some growing negative perception about Apple… Samsung invested in a two-minute Super Bowl ad; Apple chose to remain silent. SAmsung created a new story for the Oscars, tapping the eccentric Tim Burton; Apple ran only a variation of its more traditional product-centric campaign.”

Apple hasn’t stirred the pot in quite some time. Segall noted that the last time the tech giant made waves with its advertising campaigns was in its controversial Olympic ads, which were later taken down.

The last time Apple tried an unconventional ad campaign, it was the short-lived Genius-based campaign, which Segall slammed for implying that its customers were stupid.

Fortunately, Segall does give Apple some hope in the big picture. In his blog, he expressed that he still had faith  in the “smart people” at Apple and that his advertising company TBWA/Chiat/Day will help resolve their sliding advertising efforts.


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