Harry McCracken Interviews Apple Ad Man Ken Segall

computer history museum logoFormer Apple ad man Ken Segall was interviewed by Time editor-at-large Harry McCracken in a special presentation at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Segall published a book earlier this year about his experiences called Insanely Simple that posited "Simplicity" as the driving force behind everything Steve Jobs did.

Apple's unique advertising strategies have contributed greatly to the growth of the company in recent years and the discussion is worth watching for anyone interested in Apple's marketing. Segall and McCracken cover a wide variety of topics during the 1-hour discussion, including an extensive Q&A session at the end.


One topic that Segall addresses during the interview is his comments about Apple's recent 'Genius' series of ad spots -- TV ads that some felt missed the mark. He notes that there were a number of ads that Steve Jobs approved that were received poorly in the past, including the first iPod ad which featured a dancing iPod owner.

Top Rated Comments

H. Flower Avatar
117 months ago
The concept for that ipod ad was brilliant, it's just the execution was subpar.


The concept for the genius ads was awful and fundamentally flawed.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iBreatheApple Avatar
117 months ago
Steve was a brilliant man. :apple:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
117 months ago
Moderator Note

While one can easily come up with a few off camber jokes about the interviewer's name, they would be off topic, or worse, possibly offensive.

Please stick to discussion on the story, or relevant issues related to it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blucable Avatar
117 months ago
It seemed to me that the 'Genius' campaign was more focused on attracting clients to the Apple Stores, where a Genius would be very helpful to assist them with solving any problem they may have, and how friendly, accessible and helpful they can expect a Genius to be.

I really think people missed the point and got angry because of that.
Well, I'll watch the video later to see what Ken Segall had to say about it.

That's what I am saying, some scrubs got angry too quickly, but if you are a true geek, these commercials will make sense to you. I personally liked them all 3 and made me lol too.

BTW, thanks apple for not calling these products macman lol:D
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moonlight Avatar
117 months ago
I am an ass

Not to be an ass, but these front page "posts" about Ken Segal and his new book are sounding more and more like front page "ads" for his new book. Does Ken pay Macrumors to post these? What is the deal? Or am I paranoid? Either way, Ken is not that reliable as a source and I don't feel deserves to be front page news every time he says the word Steve Jobs in public. /Rant over
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kirky29 Avatar
117 months ago
The dancing iPod guy looks like Masood (the postman) from Eastenders...

Edit: It is him! Nitin Ganatra.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...