Did You Know: The Story behind Apple's 'Think Different' Motto

A short history of Apple's famous slogan

By on June 16th, 2008 19:40 GMT
Ever wondered who came up with the "Think Different" motto Apple uses to advertise its products? This is probably going to disappoint you, but it wasn't Apple.

No siree, Bob, it was the Los Angeles office of the advertising agency TBWAChiatDay that created it for Apple to use in a famous television commercial, several print advertisements, and a bunch of other TV ads for Apple products. It is believed the slogan may have been a play on IBM's "Think" motto coined by Thomas J. Watson.

Thomas J. Watson coined the motto "Think" while managing the sales and advertising departments at the National Cash Register Company. His memorable words were: "Thought has been the father of every advance since time began. 'I didn't think' has cost the world millions of dollars." He brought the motto with him to CTR in 1914. CTR, as some of you may know, later became IBM.

Apple's famous "Think Different" commercial sounds a bit like this (the video is just below this piece, in case you want to watch):

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.


Needless to say, "Think Different" pretty much sums it all up.

Print advertisements from the campaign were published in famous magazines such as Newsweek and Time. At one point, there was another series of print ads that were more focused on brand image than on specific products. These were created as a tribute to the innovating minds that truly changed the world by thinking in ways others never did. They featured a portrait of one of the historic figures shown in the television ad, with a small Apple logo and the words "Think Different" in one corner. The ad featured no reference to the company's products whatsoever. Well, you know Apple - it likes to feign modesty every once in a while.

Apple dropped the motto in 2002, when it started advertising its "Apple Switch" campaign. However, Apple began reusing the slogan in Mac OS X Leopard on the high-resolution icon for TextEdit.

Apple also had its share of parodies because of the "Think Different" slogan. The most recent one features the voiceover of the original commercial over a list of third-party iPhone applications. This was released after iPhone firmware 1.1.1 update disabled all of the third-party apps folks downloaded and installed on the newly-released device. Sources say the update was meant to show that Apple was being hypocritical about its actions.

Think Different



Source: Wikipedia

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