Writing on Forbes.com, Rob Siltanen, who worked at TBWA/Chiat/Day in the 90’s and was instrumental in bringing the Apple “Think Different” campaign to life, tells how the campaign came about.
Jobs was quiet during the pitch, but he seemed intrigued throughout, and now it was time for him to talk. He looked around the room filled with the “Think Different” billboards and said, “This is great, this is really great … but I can’t do this. People already think I’m an egotist, and putting the Apple logo up there with all these geniuses will get me skewered by the press.” The room was totally silent. The “Think Different” campaign was the only campaign we had in our bag of tricks, and I thought for certain we were toast. Steve then paused and looked around the room and said out loud, yet almost as if to his own self, “What am I doing? Screw it. It’s the right thing. It’s great. Let’s talk tomorrow.” In a matter of seconds, right before our very eyes, he had done a complete about-face.
I always like these fly-on-the-wall stories. Siltanen’s is a good one. I still have the original full-page “Think Different” ad from USA Today when it first ran. It’s yellowed and it’s been on many walls throughout my ad career, but it still resonates.