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Apple will reunite with ad agency

The computer maker will reunite with TBWA Chiat/Day, the ad agency that created the acclaimed "1984" commercial.

Apple Computer (AAPL) will reunite with the advertising agency that created one of the most famous commercials in the computer industry.

Armed with revived clout via a new relationship with Microsoft, as well as Wall Street momentum, the struggling desktop company may be looking for a new marketing vision to boost its fortunes.

TBWA Chiat/Day in Venice, California, a unit of Omnicom Group, will handle Apple's U.S. advertising with billings estimated at $80 million to $90 million, according to published reports. The firm created the well known "1984" commercial that appeared only once during the Super Bowl, but left an indelible imprint on many who viewed it. The spot portrayed an athlete attacking an Orwellian figure speaking on a video screen by throwing a hammer at it as a hall filled with dazed followers looked on.

Apple announced Wednesday that longtime rival Microsoft was investing $150 million in the company and that the board of directors was being revamped. The news sent Apple's stock soaring, and at least two brokerages raised their rating on its shares yesterday.

The surprise announcements were made in Boston at Macworld Expo by Apple cofounder Steven Jobs, who is serving as a special adviser to the company and will also join the board of directors.

Jobs had worked with Chiat/Day on development of the "1984" commercial, but by 1986 both were gone and BBDO Worldwide, also part of the Omnicom Group, was handling Apple's advertising.

In June, Apple announced it was reviewing its U.S. advertising and BBDO declined to participate.