Steve Jobs and Apple's Ad Campaigns

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Lovable Muppets. Feel-good colors. Hipster cred. Apple's ad campaigns make us want to be part of the club.

After Microsoft launched Windows 3.0, bringing a graphical user interface to the masses, Apple fought back, touting the Mac's simplicity, ease of use, and built-in trackballs.

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By the time Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the company had lost its way, with a confusing lineup of undistinguished products. Jobs knew ads touting them would ring false. His answer: the "Think Different" campaign.

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Apple's "1984" ad, aired that year and directed by Ridley Scott, famously showed a grim future ruled by unfriendly PC technology. Some two decades later the "I'm a Mac; I'm a PC" campaign painted non-Apple users as clueless dorks compared with tech-savvy hipsters.

Technicolor iMacs were everything that PCs of the day weren't: eye-catching, simple, colorful, fun to use. Technical distinctions (no floppy drive) combined with the alluring notion of bringing beauty to the mundane computer.

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Apple's first successful foray into consumer electronics promised not just a tricked-out music player but also entry into the cool-kids' club, where everyone listens to good music and pays only 99cents per song.

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