Apple has moved the development of more of its TV advertisements in-house, according to a new report. Citing sources, Bloomberg says the company's hired away a pair of key employees from its go-to outside ad agency Media Arts Lab, one of whom now runs an internal team that develops advertisements. That group has created two high-profile commercials for the iPad Air, including the Your Verse ad narrated by Robin Williams, and the one comparing the iPad Air to a pencil, which was voiced by Bryan Cranston. Beyond that, the group may be in charge of more future efforts instead of the ones made by the outside agency, the report suggests.
Apple was unhappy with its outside agency
Bloomberg's report follows one of the most revealing pieces of evidence unearthed during the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, that Apple was unhappy with its outside ad agency. As part of its case, Samsung pulled up an email correspondence between Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller and creative agency TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, where Schiller had forwarded a Wall Street Journal article titled "Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung." Schiller told the agency "we have a lot of work to do to turn this around," something that prompted an apologetic and hurried response from then-president James Vincent.
In a follow-up email to CEO Tim Cook, Schiller said "we may need to start a search for a new agency," adding that "we are not getting what we need from them and haven't been for a while." A separate thread noted that Apple's ads had drawn scrutiny from the company's own board members.
Older Apple ads didn't even show the products
Apple's TV ads have sometimes managed to not actually show products, including the famous 1984 ad for the Macintosh, which was produced by Ridley Scott and shown during the Super Bowl, as well as the Think Different campaign, which used footage of various historical figures. More recently, the company's focused on experiences where its phones and tablets are an enabler.
Apple spent $1.1 billion on advertising last year, up just slightly from the $1 billion it spent the year before. That's less than some of its rivals, including the $2.6 billion spent by Microsoft, and the estimated $14 billion Samsung spent on marketing in 2013.