This campaign against meat hijacked Steve Jobs' famous slogan, but for how long?

Steve Jobs poster for Eat Differently
(Image credit: Eat Differently)

Apple's Think Different ad campaign is famous for bringing the company and its products to a new audience between 1997 and 2002, but now it's been retooled and used in a whole new way.

Forget Think Different, we're now being told to Eat Differently in an attempt to promote plant-based diets and persuade people to stop eating meat.

But beyond simply re-working Apple's slogan, the people behind the Eat Differently campaign are also using Steve Jobs' likeness to help promote their course.

Eat Differently

This new ad campaign was first shared by VegNews in a post that now doesn't seem to be available — here's a Wayback Machine link — and Jobs is far from the only famous plant eater used to promote it.

According to that report, Eat Differently is a new LLC and a self-described “public service resource”. As part of that it's paid to have 29 billboards put up across San Diego with Jobs, Paul McCartney, Greta Thunberg, and Cesar Chavez some of those included.

"In the 90’s, Apple launched one of the most prolific and poignant advertising campaigns in modern history. The “Think Different” campaign highlighted luminaries throughout history and correlated their extraordinary “thinking” with brilliance," Eat Differently states. "We noticed that many of these luminaries featured in the campaign had a common thread—they ate differently." 

Eat Differently says that it is paying homage "to icons past and present who invite us to think differently, eat differently, and become part of a movement that propels humanity towards a brighter tomorrow" in the spirit of the original campaign. 

Eats Differently quotes Jobs specifically, who once said in a keynote “the dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you. It’s a lie, but they tried anyway.” He went on to say that the "Got milk?" marketing campaign was far more effective because they were focusing on the absence of the product. 

However, it'll now be interesting to see what Apple thinks of all of this. In a world where Apple is trying to trademark the use of an apple in logos, we can't imagine it taking kindly to a previous ad campaign being reused in this way. The Eat Differently logo even features a green apple with a fork.

As for what comes next, we'll have to wait and see if there's any response from Apple or the Jobs estate surrounding Eat Differently and its ad campaign. It'll also be interesting to see if any of the other people whose likenesses are used were aware of that before these ads went live.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.