Steve Jobs’ best marketing speech in the world – 1997

Photo: YouTube

Video transcript:

“To me marketing is about values! This is a very complicated world. It is a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us – no company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.

Now, Apple fortunately is one of a half a dozen best brands in the whole world – right up there with Nike, Disney, Coke, Sony… It is one of the greats of the greats… not just in this country, but all around the globe.

But even a great brand needs investment and caring, if it is going to retain its relevance and vitality. And the Apple brand has clearly suffered from neglect in this area in the last few years. And we need to bring it back.

The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and fees. It’s not to talk about bits and mega-hertz. It’s not to talk about why we are better than Windows. The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you. It’s a lie, but they tried anyway. And the sales were falling. And then they tried “Got Milk” and sales went up. “Got Milk” wasn’t even talking about the product. In fact, it focuses on the absence of the product.

But, the best example of all and one of the greatest jobs of marketing, that the universe has ever seen is Nike. Remember, Nike sells a commodity. The sell shoes! And yet, when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company.

In their ads, as you know, they don’t every talk about the product. They don’t every tell you about their air soles and why they are better than Reebock’s air soles. What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes. And they honor great athletics. That’s who they are. That’s what they are about.

Apple spent a fortune on advertising You’d never know it. So, when I got here, Apple just fired their agency and there was a competition with 23 agencies that four years from now we would pick one… And we blew that up and we hired Chiat/Day, the ad agency that I was fortunate enough to work with years ago… and created some award winning work… including the commercial voted the best ad ever made in 1984 (by advertising professionals).

And we started working about eight weeks ago. The question we asked was: ‘Our customers want to know who is Apple and what it is we stand for. Where do we fit in this world?’

What we’re about is not making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. We do that better than almost anybody, in some cases.

But Apple is about something more than that. Apple at the core – its core value – is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe.

And we have had the opportunity to work with people like that – with people like you, with software developers, with customers, who have done it in some big and some small ways.

We believe that, in this world, people can change it for the better. And that those people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones that actually do.

And so, what we’re going to do in our first brand marketing campaign in several years, is to get back t that core value.

A lot of things have changed. The market is a totally different place than where it was a decade ago. And Apple is totally different, and believe me, the products, and the distribution strategy and the manufacturing are totally different. And we understand that. But values and core values – those things shouldn’t change. The things that Apple believed in at its core are the same things Apple really stands for today.

And so, we wanted to find a way to communicate this. And what we have is something that I am very moved by. It honors those people who have changed the world. Some of them are living – some of them are not. But the ones that aren’t – as you’ll see – you’ll know that if they every used a computer, it would have been a Mac.

The theme of the campaign is “Think different.” It’s honoring the people who think different and move this world forward. It is what we are about. It touches the soul of this company.

So, I am going ahead and roll it and I hope that you feel the same way about it as I do.


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Rob Siltanen

Think different.


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