Lee Clow, mastermind behind Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign steps down

Fri, Oct 30, 2009

Apple History, News

One of the first orders of business at Apple when Steve Jobs returned was re-hiring the famed ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day to handle Apple’s advertising.  Lee Clow, who headed up the TBWA Media Arts Lab (which served as a special division within the company that focused on all things Apple) eventually helped create the award winning “Think Different” campaign that featured notable scientists, athletes, and other men/women of accomplishment throughout history.  Clow’s most memorable work is arguably the famed “1984” ad for the Macintosh that aired just once during the 1984 Super Bowl. And now, at the age of 66, Lee Clow is resigning from his position as the chief creative officer of the media arts lab.

Filling his shoes will be TBWA veteran Duncan Miller, who has served as the executive creative director on the Apple account for some time now.

Clow’s accomplishments, however, aren’t solely relegated to Apple products as he was also responsible for coming up with the iconic Energizer Bunny (“it keeps going and going…”) and the Taco Bell Chihuahua.

Below is the iconic “Think Different” commercial.

Update: Clow is staying on board.  He recently wrote a letter to his staff stating,

Hey Everyone:

So we tried to promote Duncan Milner because of the great job he’s been doing leading the Media Arts Lab and look at how the blogosphere decided to make it a conversation about me.

As you all know, I’m here every day meddling in everything that goes on, pushing the creative on many brands including keeping an eye on Apple.

I remain Chairman of MAL, Global Creative Director of Media Arts and Chief Creative Officer of TBWA Worldwide.

I’m not going anywhere.

Love, Lee



1 Comments For This Post

  1. msidoric Says:

    Lee’s work goes beyond mere advertising. His genius was taking the cold
    technology of hardware and software, and giving it deep human appeal that
    touched hearts and minds. His greatness is making each of us see our own
    greatness, reflected in the beautiful Apple designs and products.

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