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Being different
“Do you know that most people read ads about things they already own. They don’t read things to buy them but to feel reassured that they have already bought the right thing. In other words, they get huge information satisfaction from ads, far more than they do from the product itself…. 
- Marshall McLuhan.
This quote best explains the endless fascination that Apple users have over the plight of their Company. Macintosh enthusiasts care deeply about Apple and are passionate in their disagreements on how Apple should be run and who should be running it.  

Thousands of people watched Toy Story on Sunday just to see The Ad.  Finally, there would be a chance  to see what Steve Jobs wants to do with Apple. The ouster of Gil Amelio, the pact with Microsoft, the cancelled clone contracts and the turmoil in the Macintosh community were just the prelude. Now we get to see the rhapsody [sorry an irresistibly bad pun].  

“Think different” does not mention that Apple makes the fastest computer, or the easiest to use computer, or the most productive computer, it does not even mention that Apple is a computer company. Those are topic for future ads.  

What this ad says is that Apple is a company for people with vision.  That Apple wants to be the company for people who want their children to be the next Ghandi, or Buckminster Fuller, or even the next Ted Turner. It is about hope and passion.  

Essentially the Ad serves as an introduction to the New Apple. The era when Apple thought it could move forward by emulating the success of Microsoft and IBM is over. The old Apple was just another computer company in a market where value was a combination of price, performance, and market share.  “Think different” signifies a return to Apple’s core value:  

that people with passion can 
change the world for the better.
For those that understood the point of the Ad, it was an affirmation of the decision to choose Apple.  A “these are five things that you can do on a Mac but can’t do on something else” campaign would have been wasted on them.  What these people really needed to know was that despite the turmoil in the company, and declining market share, Apple is still the choice of visionaries.  

Other people wanted an in your face display of Macintosh power. They wanted to be reassured that Apple made the fastest, most powerful computers.  They didn’t get the point of yet another touchy-feely ad that made no mention of MHz numbers or the PowerPC advantage.  For them, wait until November (which is coincidentally TV sweeps month) when Apple will be launching a new line of desktop and notebook computers and a new way of buying them.  


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Recent Essays:

Sosumi: Sun vs. Microsoft - is the lawsuit bad news for consumers.

Being different - reaction to the new Apple Ad campaign (Sept 30, 1997)

A Plan for Be - a business plan for Be Inc.(Sept 22, 1997)

Being Apple - Aftermath of the Apple purchase of NeXT. (Jan. 15, 1997)



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