Monday, Oct 10, 2022, 17:34 Tips & Reports

25 Years Ago – "Here's To The Crazy Ones", The Beginning Of Apple's Legendary "Think Different" Campaign

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a more than 10-year-long break, several different existential problems needed solving. The company's financial security was in question, and the general perception of Apple had come to suffer significantly in the eyes of the public. Just as many times in the past, Apple contacted the advertising agency BWA\Chiat\Day to develop an entirely new campaign. According to Jobs, the most important thing was for the company to come across as "different". The man himself had already discussed the importance of being willing to step outside of the standard path to great length at the MacWorld Expo. "Think Different" counts as one of the most crucial advertising campaigns in Apple's history – and at the time, it was perhaps one of the company's most important. The segment "Here's to the crazy ones" was released 25 years ago, marking the beginning of a 5-year advertising campaign.



Apple Needs To Be "Different"
The deliberation resulted in a multi-layered and, in the truest sense of the word, multi-media campaign. Whether the grammatically incorrect "Think Different" campaign should perhaps have been correctly formulated as "Think Differently" played no role in the end – as the campaign was without a doubt one of the most successful in Apple's history. Consisting of solely branding actions, the advertisements overhauled Apple's public perception to that of a brand for critical thinkers, revolutionaries, and underdogs – without advertising a single specific product.

Here's To The Crazy Ones – Fall 1997
The campaign begin with a video which Steve Jobs had initially narrated, although Richard Dreyfuss ended up narrating the final version for TV broadcast. Every die-hard Apple fan is sure to be familiar with the beginning – "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers." A fun fact related to the video: The script for the ad was built into Text Edit's icon for quite a while, until the design changed with Yosemite.

Posters Of Einstein, Edison, Gandhi, & More
The accompanying poster campaign contained quite a few different famous members of history, with the slogan "Think Different" plastered across – whilst still not directly advertising any product. Counted amongst those displayed were Alfred Hitchcock, Pablo Picasso, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Joan Baez, and Frank Sinatra (or Jim Henson). Some finished posters that didn't make the final cut included those with Bob Dylan (a license problem prevented his appearance), the Dalai Lama (again, licensing issues prevented his appearance, as well as political sensitivities), along with the "Directors Set" – consisting of Charlie Chaplin, Francis Ford Coppola, Orson Welles, Frank Capra, and John Huston.

Think Different – Just About 5 Years
2002 was the "Think Different" campaign's final year, after which Apple discontinued the slogan and advertising campaign. The successor was the 2002 switch campaign, which told the story of successful switches from Windows to Mac computers. Between 2006 and 2009, Apple produced more than 100 episodes of the "Get a Mac" series. By 2014, more than 30 years of cooperation between Apple and Chiat\Day came to an end. To summarize Phil Schiller's view of the matter: Nowadays, Apple is financially successful and is known for its high quality products – putting the company in an entirely different place than in 1997. Chiat\Day, however, continued to operate as if it were still the same year. Although the companies did cooperate once again, this was only to a significantly lesser extent than in the past.

More articles you might enjoy to read: