The Job That Jobs Did

America is buzzing right now with the breaking news that Steve Jobs of Apple has passed away at the age of 56 after a hard battle with pancreatic cancer. CNN is interviewing tech leaders right and left, discussing the impact he’s had on our generation. He’s set the bar for what it means to be innovative and creative. And he’s mastered the art of seeing technology for what it could be and making “it” happen.

Being the advertising junkie that I am, I immediately started thinking about some of Apple’s advertising. It goes without saying that Apple’s “1984” TV spot is arguably (and in my mind, definitely) the best advertising in advertising history.

Even after “1984”, there was the “Think Different” campaign (pictured below). Another bold, daring collection of powerful words, built on a belief — not a product. Something that more and more brands are trying to do today.

All this can’t be credited to Jobs. He wasn’t the mind behind the campaigns. The praise goes to TBWA/Chiat/Day, the ad agency behind “1984” and “Think Different”.

But what can be credited to Jobs is his ability to live up to both of these campaigns. How often does your company employ a CEO that’s as bold and daring as the advertising it puts out? How often do you come across a CEO that challenges the status quo as aggressively as Jobs did? How often do you hire a CEO who not only embraces change, but welcomes it? How often do you work for a CEO with the business savvy and creative genius to not only change the world but BE the change that changes the world? That’s the job that Jobs did.

What I find most ironic about the “Think Different” campaign is that everyone and their mom is thinking different these days. To be unique and to push boundaries and to get as far outside the box as you can has become something to be valued. But no matter how different we all try to get, there will always be those who escape the same. The beauty of Apple’s “1984” and “Think Different” campaign, is that as the years go by and the campaigns age, there will always be those who think different. And as Jobs exemplified, that’s exactly what our world needs and will greatly miss.

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