Apple's Advertising Revamp Include Plans for In-House Team of 1,000 Employees
Last week, it was reported that Apple has begun producing some of its television ads internally rather than relying on longtime partner TBWA, and now Ad Age has an extensive look at the company's evolving ad strategy that is seeing much more work being brought in-house.
Amid criticisms that it has failed to innovate, Apple is increasingly taking marketing into its own hands. It's madly building an internal agency that it's telling recruits will eventually number 1,000 -- the size of Grey Advertising. It's pitting TBWA/MAL against this internal agency with "jump balls" to mine the best creative ideas, a controversial tactic with outside agencies, let alone an internal one. It's going after some of adland's boldest-faced names to staff its in-house shop -- in some cases, it's even poached executives from TBWA/MAL. And, in what once would have been seen as a sacrilegious breach of the Apple-MAL bond, it's been inviting some of the ad industry's top shops to pitch on major projects.
The report notes that Apple's hiring efforts have frequently received a "frosty reception", with some ad executives feeling that Apple has lost its creative energy while others worry about the cost of living in Cupertino.
Still, it's clear that Apple has been working to shake up its advertising efforts over the past several years, with Apple executives having serious issues with some of TBWA's work. Apple had reportedly considered dropping TBWA, but the two longtime partners have continued to work together even as Apple has looked to other internal and external groups for new creative sparks.
The lengthy report is an interesting read highlighting Apple's sometimes controversial tactics with respect to TBWA, as well as an examination of what the future may hold for the relationship between Apple and its longtime ad agency. Amid continued growth by Apple and concerns over the quality of some recent ad campaigns, it's understandable that Apple has been looking at various strategies for raising its advertising game, but just how things will play out over the long-term remains to be seen.