Steve Jobs initially opposed to Apple's "Here's to the Crazy Ones" commercial?

Forbes has published an interesting account involving the famous 1997 Think Different ad campaign, "Here's To The Crazy Ones", from Rob Siltanen, one of the advertising executives who helped put it all together. According to Stiltanen, Jobs was originally opposed to the TV spot.

[CEO of TBWA/Chiat/Day Advertising, Lee Clow] and I flew to Cupertino to play the spot in person to Jobs. Only the three of us were in the room. We played the spot once, and when it finished, Jobs said, “It sucks! I hate it! It’s advertising agency s--t! I thought you were going to write something like ‘Dead Poets Society!’ This is crap!”

At the end of the day, Steve Jobs ran with the campaign after Lee brought in Ken Segall -- someone whom Jobs had previously worked with -- to make a few minor adjustments to the spot.

Source: Forbes

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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Steve Jobs initially opposed to Apple's "Here's to the Crazy Ones" commercial?


I thought the ad was a little too "heartstring pulling" myself, so I can see where Jobs was coming from, especially if he was expecting "Dead Poets Society." What he got was more like the "We won't go quietly into the night" speech/scene from "Independence Day."

Not surprising. Jobs made lots of tactical mistakes, from the Lisa to opposing apps on iOS.
A big difference between his first go-around at Apple and his second, and a big part of what made his second go-around at Apple so successful, was an ability to learn from those mistakes quickly, and rectify them before they caused much damage.

I wonder how they were able to quote what Jobs actually said during the meeting. LOL did he really say advertising agency s-t?

same words are in the book too. plus the biography was done with jobs permission so much of his words are public. But as the author of this store (i read it yesterday) mentions this story is detailed in biography. However the article author thinks Jobs in incorrectly portrayed as the guy that thinks up the ad rather then the agency. To be honest, i didn't get that impression on reading the biography, i got the impression the agency thought it up. But there is a running narrative in the book about how steve jobs often took credit for other peoples work. It bugged some people didn't bug others. Interestingly there is another really interesting narrative. Or interesting to me. That is that the biography does a pretty good job not only highlighting Job's visions and smarts but very much highlighting that Apple was not remotely just Steve Jobs but a ton of other key contributers like Ives.

Steve Jobs said everything was "Shit" at first. Then he'd say several days later how he had this great idea (and it was the same thing he said was "Shit" two days earlier!)