Apple losing its personality under CEO Tim Cook, says creator of Think Different ad Ken Segall

Apple is not taking risks that it took under late CEO Steve Jobs, says Segall in an interview.

  • Published: August 1, 2018 6:21 PM IST

On Wednesday morning, Apple announced third quarter earnings where the company sold 41.3 million iPhone and posted a quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion. Apple CFO Luca Maestri said, during an investors call, that the company has $243 billion in cash reserves. The company also observed that despite industry pressure, iPhone sales have been growing steadily for the past few quarters.

While the Wall Street seems impressed with Apple’s performance and has rewarded the company with gains in its stock value, Ken Segall says Apple is losing its character. Advertising veteran and an ally of Steve Jobs, says the iPhone maker is losing its personality under Tim Cook. Segall worked on Apple’s most definitive ad campaign named “Think Different” in 1984 and created the name iMac. He is very much familiar with the idea of working with Steve Jobs since his return to the company in 1997.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the ad guru and former creative director at ad agency Chiat/Day says Apple is not taking some of the marketing risks like it did under Jobs. He believes the company is failing to create personalities around new iPhones.

“The passing of Steve Jobs created a completely different approach to marketing which we can see the results of,” Segall said in the interview. “As a marketer, I look at that and can see the difference between Steve being there – and not being there – very clearly.”

Segall notes that Apple might not be taking marketing risks in order to play it safe. “Tim Cook goes by recommendation of the people around him,” he said, adding that those people are a little vanilla. In a big company environment people tend to get safer… In the old days, Apple used to do things that get a lot of attention,” Segall told the publication.

Segall has criticized the post-Jobs era Apple in the past as well. In 2016, he said Apple’s iPhone naming policy serves to confuse customers and makes the job of marketing problematic. There is no denial that Apple under Steve Jobs was much different from the one currently headed by Cook.

Apple led by Jobs created new segments and forced the industry to follow suit but the post-Jobs Apple is following on a standard principle and is yet to disrupt any big industry. However, both Jobs and Cook have different characters and expecting Cook to be like Jobs would be unfair for the CEO of the world’s most highly-valued company.

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  • Published Date: August 1, 2018 6:21 PM IST