Commercial of the Week: Apple’s Think Different


The Apple Think Different commercial from 1997 has long been a favorite of mine.

The most recent book about Steve Jobs, “Becoming Steve Jobs” offers some background info on the ad, and notes that another version of the commercial was made with Jobs himself doing the voice-over. That was the version that was planned to be released, but Jobs decided that if the commercial used his voice then the focus might be more on him and not the message of the ad. The alternative version (the one shown above), with Richard Dreyfus, is the one that was aired.

Here is a copy of the one with Jobs, and I think you will agree that the Dreyfus one is much better.

If you are curious who the people are in the commercial, here is the list in order of appearance:

Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso. The commercial ends with an image of a young girl opening her closed eyes, as if making a wish. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Here is the full text of the ad:

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 invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

(Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?)

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some 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.

The paragraph in parentheses was not part of the TV commercial, but it was part of the print ad. The words still get to me, just as much as the closing words, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish“, in Jobs’s classic commencement speech at Stanford.

If the commercial were remade today, then Jobs should certainly be added to those featured. After reading the latest book about Jobs, I am convinced that Jobs really did want to change the world, and he did it by thinking different.

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