Apple Making More TV Ads In-House, Shifting Away from Longtime Agency



What do you think about the current state of Apple’s TV ads? If you’ve noticed a change (for better or for worse), that’s because Apple has started to create TV ads in-house, according to Bloomberg:

An Apple team made the iPad Air ad last year that highlighted the device’s thinness, as well as a spot this year with Robin Williams quoting from the film “Dead Poets Society” and other ads airing now, said Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple. The internal team includes at least two people Apple hired away from Media Arts Lab, a TBWA unit that only serves the iPhone maker, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Apple is having relationship issues with its longtime ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, which we have heard about before. Sources say the company started making ads in-house a few months after marketing chief Phil Schiller suggested the company look for a new agency, even requesting the change to CEO Tim Cook. The latter was quoted as saying “If we need to do this, we should get going.” Emails revealed in the second Apple vs Samsung lawsuit noted Schiller was consumed by the latter’s “Next Best Thing” ad campaign, targeting Apple and was upset with TBWA.

Apple has hired the following people to help its own in-house TV ad production:

  • Tyler Whisnand, who had joined Media Arts Lab from Portland-based Wieden+Kennedy, to lead Apple’s creative team
  • Music director David Taylor, who joined Apple in January
  • Veteran advertising executives such as Wieden+Kennedy’s Bill Davenport.

Media Arts Lab is still making ads for Apple, including current iPhone TV spots, but the process has morphed to now have the agency compete against the company’s own in-house team on each campaign, say sources.

It’s clear Apple’s TV ads aren’t exactly awesome like they used to be when Steve Jobs had a final say. Depending on who you talk to, the company’s current ads are a mixed bag, with many people seeing them as corny, too emotional, or just not as cool as before.

How many people actually like the overplayed iPhone TV spot ‘Powerful’ which uses the song “Gigantic”?


  • Al

    I skip past them. I haven’t even seen more than a couple of seconds of the more recent iPad ads, because it just seems like more of the same approach… “aren’t I wonderful & isn’t my life spectacular, when I use my iPad”. For some reason, it turns me off. Maybe because I know I will never be biking through the mountains (or whatever).

    Maybe Apple’s own team of advertising staff isn’t large enough to create the much needed variety & discourse during “creative” (ad term) meetings.

  • Chrome262

    Wait so the over played Gigantic one is from TBWA? and the others are from in house? I don’t know, the iPhone on is ok, and it was cool when you can see all the apps, but yes its on way to much. I think they should focus on functionality in their ads, Like the Powerful one, but maybe more than one. If people can see that it does all sorts of things, thats better than as Al says, “join us and be one of the Beautiful people” ads