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Apple May Part Ways With Ad Agency TBWA, Plans to Tap Beats' Jimmy Iovine for Marketing Revamp

Apple may be planning to part ways with longtime ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab, according to a new report from The New York Post. Citing industry buzz, the report suggests that Apple is ready to put its entire advertising account "up for grabs."

The Cupertino company is also said to be planning to leverage Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to bolster its marketing efforts. Beats is well-known for its aggressive marketing tactics and clever advertising campaigns that have skyrocketed its headphones to popularity. Most recently, Beats launched a "The Game Before The Game" advertisement for the World Cup, featuring key players wearing Beats headphones.

Beats' most recent advertisement
What's more, the industry is buzzing that Apple will look to music maestro Jimmy Iovine, the boss of newly acquired Beats headphones and its sister music-streaming service, to help it regain its marketing mojo.

"Apple bought Beats for a lot of reasons," said one new business executive at a top agency. "They think they're marketing geniuses. It is safe to assume Beats would be part of an assessment of all [Apple] partners."
Apple's troubles with advertising agency TBWA began back in 2013, after Apple's Phil Schiller sent a tense email to the agency following a line of highly popular Samsung commercials with the tagline "The next big thing is already here."

Apple reportedly considered parting ways with TBWA at that time, but instead began working on building out its own in-house advertising solution while continuing to allow TBWA to produce some of its recent popular advertisements like "Powerful."

Despite continuing a relationship with TBWA, Apple has pitted its in-house team against its longtime partner and it has also invited outside agencies to offer pitches on major projects, suggesting tension between the two companies has been ongoing.

Apple has plans to hire 1,000 employees for its in-house team, which may end up replacing outside agencies altogether when complete. Most recently, Apple's in-house team created "Strength," the company's newest advertisement that takes advantage of the "Chicken Fat" song and focuses on fitness.

Top Rated Comments

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14 weeks ago
That ad was really cool! I really like how much sports! Those guys were really big and very cool, and I liked how the women liked them. They sure were big and good at hitting rubber balls with various appendages. I don't know if anybody else noticed because of how subtle it was, but the big, cool men whom women like were wearing a specific brand of headphones! I think I may purchase a pair, for they will doubtlessly make me big, muscly, and liked by the opposite sex! It's like the mushrooms in Mario: magical and definitely sensical! What a phenomenal ad! Also, if anybody is interested in providing an alternate interpretation of what happens at 3:01 (http://youtu.be/v_i3Lcjli84?t=3m1s), I'd greatly appreciate it, for all I can see is a low angle shot of a woman thrusting up and down (gif'd (http://i.imgur.com/3OYot5l.gif)) as if in the midst of… anyway, what a great ad! I really need to buy some SEX—I mean BeatsĀ®!
Rating: 39 Votes
14 weeks ago
I would like to see the "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ads again.
Rating: 27 Votes
14 weeks ago

I would like to see the "i'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ads again


Sadly, Apple doesn't make Macs anymore. Just phones.

629 days since the last update of the Mac Mini. Not that this is my preferred Mac. Just saying... Apple is concentrating on phones much more than on some of their computers. Too bad. There are some loyal Mac Mini users. They deserve at least a spec bump once per year. 2 years between even small updates... not good, Apple. If they do put out an update on the Mac Mini, it had better be as drastic as the Mac Pro update was.
Rating: 24 Votes
14 weeks ago
Apple's ADs HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE since Jobs passed away.

They are so stupid. Older ads were much simpler and got to the freaking point right away. The new ads are so goofy.

/rant
Rating: 21 Votes
14 weeks ago
that Beats ad is AWFUL, from the unnecessary opening that so self-centeredly and conspicuously mentions "Beats by Dr. Dre Presents" to the slow, monotonous, melodramatic conversation urging the athlete to "run like a crazy man". That conversation was so unnatural. Who the hell do they think they are with this ad??? Jesus christ, give me a ***** break. A long 5-minute ad that tries WAY too hard to communicate the oh-so-subtle concept of "buy these headphones". I much prefer Apple's more subtle ads, although maybe that's not what works anymore. I really hope they don't lose sight of who they are, or feel like they need to change.
Rating: 14 Votes
14 weeks ago
I'm just to old for this company! It was a good time Apple but I don't feel the love any more.
Rating: 12 Votes
14 weeks ago

I really hope they don't lose sight of who they are, or feel like they need to change.


If Apple understands who they are they will realize HOW they need to change to remain relevant.

If you want to isolate this unusual 5 min ad, fine. But there is no arguing Iovine turned an "old fart" consumer product into one of THE must-have youth consumer products. Beats are all over college campuses where ordinary headphones would have been laughed at 8 years ago.
Rating: 11 Votes
14 weeks ago
Stupid move, Apple.
Rating: 8 Votes
14 weeks ago

that Beats ad is AWFUL, from the unnecessary opening that so self-centeredly and conspicuously mentions "Beats by Dr. Dre Presents" to the slow, monotonous, melodramatic conversation urging the athlete to "run like a crazy man". That conversation was so unnatural. Who the hell do they think they are with this ad??? Jesus christ, give me a ***** break. A long 5-minute ad that tries WAY too hard to communicate the oh-so-subtle concept of "buy these headphones". I much prefer Apple's more subtle ads, although maybe that's not what works anymore. I really hope they don't lose sight of who they are, or feel like they need to change.


You and I watched different ads. The one I saw was compelling. Excellent soundtrack, with the cadence of Spartans going to war. Flashes of the culture from the participating countries. Visuals showed the passion that fans have for the World Cup participants and the passion of the Brazilian people. Can I assume you aren't a sports fan, because that conversation is the exact type of motivation fathers/coaches give sons in just about every sport imaginable. The mix of celebrity and everyman was a nice touch as well.

They may have been ticking boxes to get that result, but they ticked the right ones for their demographic. May not have been your cup of tea, as you said, you prefer Apple's more subtle ads. Nothing wrong with that. To each his own.
Rating: 8 Votes
14 weeks ago
I get it that many Americans don't get (hate ?) that beats add, as they have no connection to soccer, but seriously, if you're in any way connected to the sports, as a fan or a player, that add was imo absolute genius !
Rating: 8 Votes

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