Client Story: Apple reinvents marcom

My assignment was to lead strategic planning in Apple’s newly formed design led marketing communications group.

Cultural context. We were on the cusp of a profound media change. Media innovation leads cultural change and, as a consequence, significant social transformation. Advertising as a mass media activity shaping consumer culture was challenged by the new media of the web which promised a more personal, useful and meaningful consumer relationship. The Mass Age was fading.

Strategic Direction: “Make the web the lead medium” to help people get the most out of Apple products. We focussed on designing as a hub for all brand and product connections. This was seamlessly integrated with a retail strategy that enabled Apple to control product narratives.

Design strategy focusses on identifying and solving problems. Communications had to be an extension of the product experience; beautiful, useful and effective. In that context copywriting was elevated to a storytelling art form that brought humanity to technology and helped people get the most out of Apple products.  

The iPhone launch claimed that Apple “reinvents the phone”. That day Apple reinvented Marcom as a lead discipline, led by design and powered by copywriting truth; “Ease of use” became “Easy to understand” and Apple became Apple Inc. a consumer technology brand.

With: Apple Marcom and Graphic Design Group, led by Allison Johnson and Hiroki Asai

Where: USA, Europe, Asia, Japan