According to a report on Wednesday, Apple is taking on more responsibility for its TV spots by creating ads in-house, a move that shifts away from longtime collaborator TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports Apple's latest TV spots are the work of an internal ad team comprised of at least two people poached from TBWA's Media Arts Lab, which was put together solely to service Apple.
An Apple spokesperson said the most recent airings, including the "Your Verse" iPad spot featuring a Robin Williams monologue from "Dead Poets Society," were created entirely in-house.
TBWA\Chiat\Day is responsible for Apple's most iconic ads, like the "1984" Super Bowl TV spot directed by Ridley Scott. Apple's history with the ad agency goes back to the early 1980s when Jay Chiat was first introduced to late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.
The agency was out of touch with Apple during the years following Jobs' ousting. The two firms were reunited in 1997 when Jobs reinstated the agency — along with highly respected adman Lee Clow — to run a series of ads that ultimately became the "Think Different" campaign.
With the smartphone war, Apple rival Samsung has spent huge sums on its own advertising campaigns, putting pressure on TBWA/Media Arts Lab to churn out quality content. The relationship between Apple and the ad agency is reportedly on unsteady ground as evidenced by an email conversation made public during the second California Apple v. Samsung trial.
In an email string, Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller voiced his concern over a Wall Street Journal article titled "Has Apple Lost Its Cool To Samsung?" and asked te agency to formulate an appropriate response. Schiller was less than pleased with the resulting suggestions, saying he was "shocked" at recommendations that appeared to rework Apple at an operational level.
It is unclear if Apple is actually moving away from TBWA\Chiat\Day, but Bloomberg's sources say Schiller is making key hires in what could be an attempt to supplant the agency in the future. The report is in line with previous rumors suggesting Schiller and the agency were at odds.