Remember Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign? It ran through the late 1990’s, and was famous for featuring black and white images of various rebels, visionaries, and creative freethinkers.

The campaign, which was created by TBWAChiatDay, was somewhat divisive at the time. Grammatically, “Think Different” should be “Think Differently.” Some felt that Apple was using famous people, such as Ghandi and the Dali Lama, to promote products that they would not have promoted in real life.

Personally, I loved the ad campaign. I remember when South Station in Boston was plastered with the posters, including massive posters featuring Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King and Einstein. It was provocative and inspiring to see those huge portraits. I was a Windows user at that point, but Apple certainly caught my attention with the ads.

One of the great things about these posters was that they were simply portraits with the words “Think Different” and the old-school rainbow Apple emblem – no text saying “Apple makes the best stuff,” or “Try the awesome G3.”

At Small Dog, our halls and offices are lined with these original posters. Some of them are relatively common – Einstein, MLK, Thomas Edison, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jim Henson and Kermit, Picasso – and some are rare – Houdini, Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Mohammed Ali, Miles Davis, Lucy and Desi, Ansel Adams, Cesar Chavez, Maria Callas, Martha Graham.

I still find them inspiring – especaily the one of Jackie Robinson, rounding third base.


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