The Challenge

The Challenge
Well, the news out of Macworld is heartening, Steve and the gang have managed to fool the “experts” by posting a 45 million dollar profit. And like most Mac fanatics, I was initially thrilled. But the underlying problem remains that fewer and fewer Macintoshes are being sold. Some in the Mac community failed to look at this fact and its long-range implications. Fewer sold machines means fewer new users to the platform. This in turn means fewer software programs are purchased, which in turn means a ever shrinking number of developers willing to write Macintosh applications.

Granted, returning to profitability is the first goal. But the focus must
include MARKETING. I use my hometown of Denver as a perfect example of lost opportunities. Denver is not only the highest educated city in the U.S.A., but the most Internet-connected city (per-capita) in the world. Yet, I have only seen 5 “Think Different” ads since the campaign began. That’s ridiculous under any circumstances. What’s even worse is that one of Apple’s biggest corporate clients, US West, is headquartered in Denver. There are well over 10,000 employees, with at least a third using Macs. These are potential customers not being recognized.

The other company with a large Denver operation is Lockheed-Martin. Recently, they converted over to the dark side. However, I’ve heard on several occasions that Martin employees were buying their work Macs for home. So many were doing this that much of the employees work was being done at home. Martin IS managers warned the executives of this quiet plot. The employee purchase plan was immediately canceled, forcing many potential buyers off the platform. Once again, where was the advertising to pickup this potentially large base of customers?

The point of all of this ranting and raving is that the “Think Different”
campaign seems to be mostly vapor. It’s kind of ridiculous to think that I’ve seen at least 25 “Think Dharma” satire ads as compared to the original. What’s even worse was having to have my euphoria of the Broncos/Steelers game trod on by Microsoft’s latest ads of being in the classroom. As my school’s technology guru and Mac fanatic, I’m deeply offended. Education belongs to Apple, yet there is no response.

Therefore, I hereby challenge both Apple and TBWA Chiat/Day to come up with an ad better than the one below using THEIR “Think Different” ad style. (I remind all of you that I have never taken a marketing class.)

Mark Twain
One black and white picture after another of Mark Twain appears on the left half of the screen. On the right side, various newspaper articles detailing Apple’s troubles drop one on top of the other. The voice of Richard Dreyfus is heard in the background, reading the following quote of Mark Twain’s:


Seconds TextThe screen goes black, then in large letters one of Mark Twain’s most famous quotes appears:

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

The screen changes to show a picture of Steve Jobs’s announcement at Macworld of Apple’s profit for the fourth quarter. The screen darkens and the “Think Different” and Apple logo appear.

Rambling Thoughts
I want to thank all the readers who responded to my January article. It
truly is nice to hear some feedback. Like other writers, sometimes I think
I’m just whistling in the wind.

Mark Marcantonio (

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