Apple Inc. (AAPL) brings more TV ad production in-house instead of using TBWA\Chiat\Day

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now producing more of its own TV ads instead of using using agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. Apple’s marketing team made the iPad Air ad last year that highlights how thin the tablet is. The company also internally created the ad that quotes Robin Williams from the movie “Dead Poets Society.”

The internal team includes employees that Apple hired from Media Arts Lab, which is a TBWA unit that worked with just Apple. TBWA\Chiat\Day is the agency that worked with Apple to create the Orwellian Super Bowl ad known as 1984.

Apple started to create the ads internally a few months after Phil Schiller considered ending the relationship with Media Arts Lab in January 2013. Schiller’s thoughts were revealed in an e-mail that Apple disclosed in April as part of a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics. Schiller was not happy about Apple’s response to the Samsung ads that poked fun at Apple’s fans. Rather than ending the relationship entirely, Apple started to build up its own team internally.

Apple hired Tyler Whisnand from Media Arts Lab.  Whisnand used to work at Portland-based Wieden+Kennedy. Whisnand now leads Apple’s creative team. Apple also brought in music director David Taylor in January.

Media Arts Lab president James Vincent was recently named CEO of the company. Vincent led the relationship between Media Arts and Apple since the unit was created. Former Media Arts Lab employee  wasErica Hoholick rehired and was named President.

In 2013, Vincent and Schiller had a heated exchange when Schiller indicated he was thinking of canceling the partnership. Schiller forwarded Vincent an article by The Wall Street Journal titled ?Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?? Vincent said that Apple needed to make radical changes to the way it did business, including a bold new campaign like the Think Different ads in 1997 when the company almost went bankrupt. Schiler bluntly responded with “This is not 1997… Nothing like it in any way.” Schiller said Apple had superior products and just needed to better ads to make that clear.

Media Arts Lab still works for Apple on current iPhone TV ads, including one that highlights the music player. However, Media Arts Lab now has to compete against Apple’s own internal team for each campaign, according to Bloomberg.