John Sculley, the former Apple and Pepsi CEO, joined David Sable, global CEO of agency Y&R, Jessica Gelman, VP of customer marketing and strategy for Kraft Sports Group (which owns the New England Patriots professional football franchise) and others Thursday in New York for a discussion about the way data has changed the marketing “message.”
“It’s very different than back in the ‘1984’ days when we wanted to reach the largest audience possible,” Sculley said about the TV spot that some consider to be one of Apple’s – and the industry’s – bests. “We now want to be so finely targeted [that we] own and can monetize [the entire] customer lifecycle – the future of marketing.”
In preparing for the launch of Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl commercial that would launch Macintosh to the masses, the company had one goal: “We weren’t thinking about engagement,” Sculley said. “We were thinking: ‘Wow. Stop the world.’ Notice there was never any product shown in the commercial, but it set an expectation that something amazing was going to happen."
Marketing campaigns today, he said, are judged around how effectively they cultivate relationships using data around individual interests to create personalized engagements. “It’s very different than how we thought thirty years ago,” he added.
But Sable, Y&R’s outspoken CEO who amicably described himself as part CEO, hippie and grandfather, argued that despite Apple’s branding aspirations, “1984” was indeed about engagement.