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Marketing and advertising are such a huge focus at Apple these days that the company is reportedly building up its own internal agency, which it intends to grow to as many as 1,000 people.

It’s an unspoken no-no in big time advertising for companies to pit an internal creative shop against that of its external ad agency, but that’s exactly what Apple is doing. Apple has also invited numerous other agencies to pitch ideas for major projects, competing with its agency-of-record, TBWA/MAL.

Apple is going even further, trying to poach some of the advertising industry’s best creative talent to join its internal agency. Apple has even recruited talent from TBWA/MAL.

A popular topic of discussion these days is whether or not Apple has lost its vision for developing new products. The question is mirrored in the advertising side of the house, which is pulling out all the stops to come up with revolutionary campaigns like its “Think Different” masterpiece.

Apple’s ads have been lackluster in recent years, and punctuated by outright blunders like the “Genius Bar” ads it ran during the 2012 Olympics. The ads were quickly pulled from the air.

An email from Apple’s VP of global marketing, Phil Schiller, to TBWA/MAL President James Vincent (unearthed during the Apple vs. Samsung patent case) revealed the company’s frustration:

“I watched the Samsung pre-Super Bowl ad that launched today. It’s pretty good and I can’t help but think these guys are feeling it (like an athlete that can’t miss because they are in a zone), while we struggle to nail a compelling brief on iPhone.”


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