Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here's to the crazy ones

In another lifetime, I worked for several years for an Apple Specialist in Honolulu (Specialists are a special tier of Apple authorized Mac dealers and repair centers), first helping out with their website, later doing sales, later still running the front office and doing onsite and in-house training, and later still helping in the service department ordering parts and dispatching technicians, plus designing their newspaper ads and marketing materials (when working for a small business, everyone wears a lot of hats).

I began working there midway through the Think Different campaign in the late 90s, so that campaign has always been near and dear to me, both because of it's brilliance and because it invokes a time in my life that I remember fondly. When I started there, Steve Jobs had been back at Apple for a year or two, but hadn't turned things around for them yet. Because I was so entrenched in Apple culture at the time, I clearly remember the sharp left turn Apple made, from a company that made powerful and elegant but boring looking beige boxes with cryptic model numbers (e.g., the PowerMac 8600/300, which which despite its dull name was the bomb) to stunningly different and appealing products like the first bondi blue iMacs, which were truly groundbreaking at the time. We're all so used to Apple now that I think we forget where they came from.

So I particularly loved AdWeek's recent tribute to Steve Jobs. They write:

"Crazy Ones," the iconic Apple commercial by TBWA\Chiat\Day from the "Think different" campaign of the late 1990s, was always, in a way, about Steve Jobs. Voiced by Richard Dreyfuss, it celebrated "the rebels, the troublemakers, the ones who see things differently" and would therefore change the world. The images showed everyone from John Lennon to Gandhi, but the inference was that Apple's visionary leader was one these remarkable souls. Now, with Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple, we've added him to the end of "Crazy Ones"—a place he rightfully earned, even if he would never come right out and say so. 

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