Think Different – Apple’s Slogan Explained!

Are you looking for the meaning of Apple’s Slogan: Think Different? If yes, this article is going to explain it to you in detail.

As an entrepreneur, I’m very interested in learning about the slogans of some successful companies like Apple. Because it inspires me to use the same kind of marketing tactic in my own business.

So in the past week, I have studied a lot of materials about Apple’s Slogan: Think Different. I’m going to share with you my findings about the slogan. You may find it very inspirational if you are a business student or business owner.

In this article about “Think Different”, I’m going to cover the following topics:

What Does “Think Different” Mean?

Apple Computer, Inc., now known as Apple Inc., used the slogan “Think Different” from 1997 to 2002. The Los Angeles office of advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day created the campaign. Many have taken the slogan as a response to IBM’s slogan “Think.” 

It appeared in a TV advertisement, several print advertisements, and several TV promos for Apple products.

With Apple’s rise, as well as Steve Jobs’ death, quite a few people have reflected on the historical significance of its “Think Different” advertising campaign. 

Apple launched the remarkable “Think Different” campaign in 1997, a campaign that became a classic 

Thanks to this slogan, our perception of campaigns, ads, posters and technology changed forever. Jobs insisted on the adjective “different,” even though the word “think” needed a following adverb, because he felt that “Think Differently” would be a misunderstanding.

Steve Jobs felt that “you had to be a little different to buy an Apple computer”

It’s understandable why Jobs chose the word “different.” Since then, Apple has become a multinational company offering innovative products and services. As a result, it has gained the attention of the market and consumers in general.

The campaign is anchored by the memorable “Crazy Ones” spot, which pays homage to world-renowned visionaries such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, among others. “Here’s to the crazy ones… the ones who see things differently” are some of the words that we hear in this unforgettable spot.

In 2020, “Think different” was still on the iMac packaging, and possibly elsewhere.

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How Was The “Think Different” Slogan Created?

There are different accounts of how the campaign came about. In keeping with Apple’s duty of confidentiality to all with whom it works, TBWAChiatDay refuses to publicly explain its contribution.

Two new sources, however, shed light on the matter. Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson devotes a chapter to the phrase ‘Think Different,’ while a recent Forbes article by former ChiatDay creative director Rob Siltanen provides another perspective.

Isaacson’s book plays up Jobs’ role a bit, claiming that he co-wrote the commercial and was partly responsible for the slogan, but Siltanen does not let that stand 

Jonathan Littman worked with Craig Tanimoto, a creative art director at TBWA/Chiat/Day, to develop this brilliant concept. He used black and white photos of people “thinking differently” with the classic logo and tagline.

IBM was currently running a ThinkIBM campaign. Tanimoto believed his proposal would playfully illustrate the differences between the two companies.

in 1997, Tanimoto began drawing sketches inspired by René Magritte’s “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” and later combined them with Apple’s logo and the words “Think Different.”

Tanimoto kept these sketches in his notebook for days, explaining that ideas take time to develop, even though he knew this was the BIG idea Apple wanted.

Tanimoto’s idea excited the whole room when he presented it at the agency’s presentation, where the creative teams shared their ideas.

Job insisted on using “different” as a noun, as in “think victory” or “think beauty” 

He felt that “think different” didn’t have the same meaning for him. The goal was to make the phrase sound colloquial, like the phrase “think big.”

It became successful with the big “Think Different” campaign and was advertised on TV and billboards. It reinvigorated Apple and ushered in a new era by transforming the personal computer into an icon of rebellion, individuality and change.

The ad is indeed powerful and motivating, capturing the viewer’s attention from the start and still unique today 

However, Steve Jobs wasn’t sure about this combination at first, saying, “This is great, this is really great … but I can’t do this. People already think I’m an egotist, and if I put the Apple logo up with all these geniuses, I’ll get skewered by the press.”

Nevertheless, after a while Steve Jobs decided to pursue this idea, realizing that it was the right thing to do for Apple 

During the development process, two versions of the narrative for the TV advertisement were created: one spoken by Jobs and one by Dreyfuss 

Lee Clow suggested that Jobs’ voice would be “really strong” as a symbol of his return to the company and the reclaiming of the Apple brand 

Jobs opted for Dreyfuss’ version on the morning of the first airing, explaining that it was about Apple and not himself.

Dan Bootzin, Chiat/Day’s in-house editor, edited the piece at Venice Beach Editorial, and Hunter Conner did the post-production.

in 2011, Apple aired Steve Jobs’ version of the commercial as part of its internal commemoration.

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How Do “Think Different” Campaigns Work?

The “Think Different” campaign was a huge success for Apple and TBWA/Chiat/Day when it was released 

The spot won numerous awards and accolades, including an Emmy Award for Best Commercial and a Grand Effie Award for Best Campaign in America.

The new ad campaign marked Apple’s resurgence as a marketing force 

In the years leading up to the commercial, Apple had been losing market share to the Wintel ecosystem because it offered lower prices, a wider selection of software and more powerful CPUs 

The Apple Newton project, a billion-dollar flop that proved neither technically nor commercially viable, was even worse for Apple’s reputation 

The return of Steve Jobs and the success of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign helped revive Apple’s image as a counterculture, paving the way for the all-in-one iMac computer and later Mac OS X (now called macOS).

Why Is the Business Slogan Important For Apple?

Slogans are short, catchy phrases often used in advertising. Catchy slogans are an effective way to draw attention to a brand or product 

Slogans have long been used in marketing, but today they are ubiquitous and used by a wide variety of brands 

Good slogans should highlight the benefits of a product. A catchy slogan also emphasizes the brand’s image 

Generally, a phrase that has meaning resonates with customers more than a brand’s name alone, because a good slogan offers more than an assurance, but also explains what the brand stands for.

In marketing, slogans are important for the following reasons:

Brand positioning and recognition

Brand identity is defined by a distinctive logo, a catchy tagline and the brand name 

So if your tagline is catchy and memorable, it will help brand recognition in the marketplace. The tone and language of a tagline influence how your brand is positioned in the marketplace.

Building better customer relationships

Throughout history, slogans have been valued as a link between a company and its customers 

Advertising slogans help audiences remember brands, which in turn leads to positive attitudes towards them.

Stand out from the crowd

The slogan of a brand should be distinctive. This way people will remember your brand 

By mentioning the slogan, your brand can be identified without mentioning the product or brand name.

Make your product more popular

A slogan can tell the audience not only about the product, but also about its benefits 

A slogan describes the way people see a product. A slogan can therefore be used as a marketing strategy to increase the appeal of your product.

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Final Words: Apple Slogan

Steve Jobs’ incredible attention to detail when it came to Apple’s marketing ran throughout his career, as he personally signed off on every new advertisement 

Apple’s turnaround was based on both great products and great marketing, and Jobs knew the importance of both 

Although ‘Think Different’ was not solely responsible for Apple’s success in the years following its launch, it played an extremely important role in attracting customers, employees and shareholders during a very difficult time for the company 

It reaffirmed the brand’s vision. It also promised that with Jobs at the helm, Apple would have its mojo back. This has been borne out.

The “Think Different” campaign was discontinued with the introduction of the iMac G4 in 2002. Still, the slogan continues to have an impact, much like the “1984” Mac campaign.

Tim Cook, for example, keeps a copy of the original “Think Different” advertisement at his office. 

It’s not easy to think otherwise when Apple now dominates the market and competitors copy its every move and strategy.

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Think Different - Apple’s Slogan

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