Once upon a time, eight Senior VPs formed Steve Jobs’ inner circle.
Steve empowered them because they were talented, strategic, trusted and in tune with his vision.
Well, time marches on. Apple doesn’t have Steve anymore. Tim Cook has reigned for nearly nine years. One by one, most of Steve’s Gang of Eight have been replaced.
Today only Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams remain. The original Big Guns of hardware, software, retail, marketing, finance and legal have all checked out.
America loves a good “fall from grace” story. At the moment, The Ellen Show is serving up an excellent one.
Public accusations from staff have been nonstop.
Sexual harassment. Bullying. Out-of-control managers. Toxic work environment. It’s a smorgasbord of nasty.
If true, there are but two explanations. Either the real Ellen falls way short of her lovable public image, or she empowered her managers and failed to oversee them.
In other words, Ellen is either a bad person or a bad CEO.
I’m not exactly an insider. But I did spend two months working in Ellen’s world producing JCPenney’s $5 million, five-part Ellen campaign on the 2012 Oscars.
I swear, I try to avert my eyes—but I keep getting drawn into the sad saga of JCPenney. Why is that?
Morbid fascination? Schadenfreude? Personal guilt? (I had a hand in two years’ worth of JCP’s ads on the Oscars.)
Actually, I’m not that deep. It’s just that JCP’s failure has been more like a decade-long crumble, and it has such great lessons to offer.
Once “America’s Favorite Store,” JCP has now filed for bankruptcy protection. A single share of JCP stock, once priced over $83, goes for 18 cents as I write this.
It’s tempting to cut JCP a break, since the current crisis has hurt so many companies. But—this crisis only pushed JCP over the edge of the cliff where it was already perched.
January 24th was the 35th anniversary of Macintosh, bless its little soul.
In reading a number of articles, I got to enjoy the original Macintosh intro event all over again. It’s a vivid reminder that Steve Jobs’ showmanship and obsession with detail was in full bloom way back at the beginning.
One of the those details was “the speech.” (About 3:05 into the video.). Steve wanted to have the first Mac to speak for itself—
Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I’d like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER YOU CAN’T LIFT! Obviously, I can talk, but right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me… Steve Jobs.
That made me smile, and it got me wondering: who actually wrote these words. Steve? One of his minions?
It’s that time again. We could talk about the best campaign of the year—but where’s the fun in that?
For your amusement, let’s plunge directly to the bottom.
I could ridicule the Liberty Mutual campaign for the reasons others have cited (and I will!). But I’m more curious about how an agency like Goodby Silverstein—long known for smart, award-winning work—could ever have churned out such dribble.
The obvious explanation is that Liberty Mutual is a terrible client.
There’s a saying in the biz that “clients get the advertising they deserve.” Bolstering this theory is the fact that the pre-Goodby advertising for Liberty Mutual (from agency Havas) was equally detestable.
However, this hardly excuses Goodby. What they’ve done for Liberty Mutual looks like a total surrender to somebody’s uncreative and amateurish instincts.
Whoever the culprit may be, this is a matter that demands attention from creative law enforcement.