Here’s to the crazy onessource • basicappleguy.com
Basic Apple Guy:
Often misattributed to Steve Jobs, the poem was a part of Apple’s iconic Think Different ad campaign developed in the late 90s. Back then, Apple’s image in the computing space was that Macintosh’s were computers for ‘creatives,’ more toy than tool. Rather than try to wipe away that reputation, Apple leaned in and fully embraced it. The ad campaign highlighted how the creatives - those who see things differently - were, in fact, those who change the world—featuring iconic individuals including Einstein, Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Mohammad Ali, and more. It was brilliant! Everything about the campaign branded Apple as mavericks and distinctly different from the competition. It was an evocative campaign that painted Apple as the scrappy underdog. It certainly was, and still arguably is, a philosophy that continues to be infused in the company’s DNA despite its phenomenal success and market dominance.
The poem itself was developed by a collective including Rob Siltanen, Lee Clow, and others. It was allegedly initially ‘hated’ by Steve Jobs, although he later came around & changed his mind (classic Steve). Two narrations of the ad exist, one by Richard Dreyfuss and one by Steve Jobs himself.
Though the Think Different campaign ended in the early 2000s, the poem has continued to find its way into various Apple icons as recently as 2020. Here’s a small collection of where the verse has popped up in Apple’s icon history.
This is a really fun piece. I had noticed quite a few of these instances over the years, but had no idea the Notes app had the poem embedded as short hand in its icon. Nor had I realized just how many emoji included it as well. Watch both versions of the marketing video too if you haven’t done so already.