Working for Apple is a great privilege.

Even more so it was in a time when Cupertino’s brand was “not” yet the rock star of the market as it is today, but represented the exception to the consolidated and somewhat traditional system of classical information technology. Sometimes it is important to perceive the moment and understand the view of people who “create companies”; in this case Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, had just returned to the company he had founded after years away and this fact, together with the design of completely new products like the first I-Mac, meant for everyone a complete change in the advertising paradigm adopted until that moment. Fresh air and innovative energy that allowed Lee Clow with TBWA/Chiat Day to develop a message dedicated to “fools, rebels, troublemakers”. In short, all those who felt and acted differently. In 1998, Apple was a niche brand used by graphic designers, photographers and musicians, with a global market share around 2%. We used television with the aim of making the brand popular and presenting the new I-Mac to the general public. Among the very narrow Apple’s guidelines there was no description of how the English-language films should be adapted in the language of the countries in which they were shown. So we had to rewrite the text, which is perfect and concise in English, in our language, which is sometimes rich in terms but elaborate and not very brisk. The real challenge was not only this, but also to find a “voice” (speaker) that interpreted the “think different” message of the spot. None of us would have ever agreed to use a voice already heard in some other spot or for some other product. Nothing, in short, that would be considered “advertising”. Until we realized that a different voice, “a voice out of the chorus”, indeed in Italy there was: Dario Fo. And so the Nobel Prize-winner for literature just nominated the previous year, agreed to “lend” his talent to interpret, as only he could do, that “thinking” from another point of view. Apple Italy, with great courage, approved the idea and so “the medieval jester who mocks power giving back dignity to the oppressed” (from the motivation of the Nobel Prize awarding committee) became the one who started the TV ad in Italy saying: we dedicate this film to fools, nonconformists, troublemakers… Today one might wonder which other company or brand in Italy would have the courage to believe in such a counter-current proposal. Probably few or maybe none. Or just one. Apple.

Creative Direction in Italy: Nardi, Chiarugi. TBWA Italia Agency.