Apple brings another ad shop under its wing


Apple for some time now has been moving to bulk up its in-house marketing team and bring a few of its favorite external ad shops under the same corporate umbrella. In the latest move, Rosetta, one of Apple’s longtime advertising partners, has launched a new agency brand, Level, which appears to be exclusively dedicated to Apple. This is another example of Apple’s ongoing efforts to consolidate all of its agency partners under the same roof…

Advertising Age first spotted the new Level website, listing only Apple as its client.

The publication views the development as Rosetta’s effort to secure and strengthen its long-running relationship with Apple and “an attempt to help maintain some ownership and confidentiality”.

Rosetta already has a dedicated Apple team, but a separate agency brand would isolate the account from other clients even more, which might appeal to Apple given its famous concern for secrecy.

The model could even help Rosetta expand its relationship with Apple globally if the agency were to open Level offices abroad.

Later this year, TBWA/Chiat/Day parent Omnicom Media Group and Publicis are slated to merge. As a result, Omnicom’s TBWA/Chiat/Day and Omnicom will be brought together under one roof. Apple works with both TBWA/Chiat/Day and Omnicom.

As for Publicis, they acquired Rosetta in 2012, which itself snapped up Level Studios in 2010. Level Studios files as Apple’s first digital agency. Level started collaborating with the iPhone maker shortly following Steve Jobs’s return from exile in 1997.

TBWA/Chiat/Day lists Apple as a client through its subsidiary TBWA Media Arts Lab. That unit, created in 2006, is exclusively focused on Apple’s campaigns.

TBWA was also the creative force behind Apple’s memorable ‘1984’ Super Bowl commercial for the Macintosh, stemming from Jobs’s relationship with the agency’s creative director Lee Clow.

Apple ad (Designed by Apple in California 001)

Businessweek reported last June that some agency executives within TBWA Media Arts Lab felt that Apple’s advertising efforts under the handling of the company’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, has shown “less clarity”.

Apparently, Apple and Media Arts Lab have struggled to adapt to life without Steve Jobs, who was famous for his penchant to engage in the creative process and personally approve all of Apple’s advertising and marketing messages.

Since his death, the meetings are run by Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president of marketing, which has meant less clarity about what the company wants its ads to say, people familiar with Apple’s advertising said.

Once Jobs had made a decision, no one at Media Arts Lab argued for long. Now, its creative staff becomes frustrated more often when Schiller shoots down ideas, they said.

Apple’s marketing department under Schiller’s leadership continues to commission almost-ready TV ads from Media Arts Lab, in line with Jobs’s sayingthat he couldn’t judge promising ideas based on sketches on poster-like storyboards.

The story mentions that Apple spends millions of dollars on ads “that don’t even run”.