You are on page 1of 5

Sabrina Reaves

Ms. Hollins
Pre-AP Lit.
18 November 2016

The Rhetorical Analysis of Think Different

Along with The Human Family.

Think Different, it's said so simply put. This leaves the mind to wonder: What does it take

or mean to think differently? Steve Jobs, creator of Apple, employs this lingering curiosity along

with many other factors in Apples Think Different Commercial Campaign in 1997 to make

the audience associate American historys most influential, & significant freethinkers of our

time with Apple (along with what they represented), & to also suggest that throughout Apple that

we too can Think Different. Another striking commercial recently made by Apple was the

2016 ad The Human Family which featured a voiceover of Maya Angelou reciting her poem,

accompanying a panoramic view of people of many relations, ethnicities, & nationalities (each

photo syncing to the description of a line in her poem) in photos taken by Apple products. The

message of this ad was to say, People all over have Apple, you should get it too. Between

Think Different (1997) and The Human Family (2016), Steve Jobs implements his overall

message through media choice and composition of ads, target audience, historical context, and

rhetoric such as utilizing pathos, and ethos appeals, with his 1st & 2nd ads but had no logos

appeals in either ad, resulting in a lack of support for both of the ads.

Within Apples Think Different (1997) ad, they used a variety of tactics to implement

pathos appeals to hook in their audience. For one, the rainbow-colored Apple logo presented

towards the end of the commercial, with the words Think Different below it. Steve Jobs

utilizes color to stir emotion within its onlookers, especially since the rest of the ad was in black

& white until the end, emphasizing the Apple logo and showing how Different Apple is. It
suggests that like the free-thinkers presented in the ad, they too were innovative and thought

differently and by buying Apples products, you too can do wonders. Apple also uses the sound

of dulcet, piano music as an pathos appeal to inspire the audience. In addition to pathos, Steve

Jobs displays an ethos appeal throughout the ad. This is accomplished by having free-thinkers

such as Albert Einstein, Martin L. King, Muhammad Ali, Gandhi,Vincent Van Gogh etc. placed

as figure-heads. Despite them being long deceased already, those free-thinkers represented

Think Different & the message behind it.

Throughout the ad, the target audience came to play in overall meaning. In Think Different,

it expressed the target audience clearly and thoroughly in a voiceover. The voiceover stated,

"Here's to the crazy ones -- the misfits; the rebels; troublemakers. The round pegs in the square

holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for

the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only

thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race

forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people

who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." The target

audience is directed to people not bound by the status quo, the ones whore unique or different.

This part of the ad would affect the overall message, because the target audience represents to

Think Different; to be crazy, a misfit, a rebel, & a troublemaker like the voice-over said, you

have to break from the status quo and that in itself is thinking differently.

The Think Different commercials historical context was shown in some aspects throughout

the ad, & contributed to the meaning. Starting with the most prominent feature, is despite the fact

it was made in the late 1990s, the ad was in black & white (which was known for the 1930s

time period). This more than likely denoted that Apple wanted to stress the time period these
free-thinkers were active & alive in, & how Different Apple is in comparison to the old

times; a lot of progress was made through difference in thought. By Apple doing this they

created a distinction between past & present, considering the fact The Great Depression among

other things were prominent during the 1930s.

On another note, societal issues were barely present in the 1990s compared to the 1930s, or

now (where our current issue is the uproar about Election Day). According to American History:

The 1990s, The American economy recovered from a recession and grew strong. Inflation and

unemployment were low. There were new developments in medicine and technology. Without

these historical contexts, the comparison of the free-thinkers to Apple wouldn't have been able

to be efficiently made, therefore taking away the main meaning of the ad.

The establishment of media choice and composition of ads set forth also had a play to the

meaning of the ad, Think Different. In the commercial, they used music, a voiceover, & colors

to compose the ad. The music was a dulcet, piano sound & motivational in a way which helped

support their message to Think Different, meaning be like a free-thinker by buying Apple

products. Apples voiceover contained the points that were both the foundation of the ads target

audience, & the message that supported Apples claim about themselves/their message. The

colors seen in the ad were used to emphasize the Apple logo, represent their message, and draw

attention to Apple products by making the logo the only thing in color (black & white

background), and bright at that. Although the product wasn't shown, the Apple symbol was

present towards the end of the ad. The Think Different ad was presented on television to reach

a broader range of people.


Moving on to the 2nd commercial, The Human Family, what's seen is an absence of logos

appeals but a surplus of pathos appeals, similarly to Think Different. In The Human Family

(2016), Apple implements pathos appeals through certain means.

Throughout this commercial, Apple shows people of different races and origins taking (in

panoramic view) photos, or videos of themselves happily, to suggest that people from

everywhere like Apple so the audience should too, and therefore buy Apple Products.

Furthermore, The Human Family utilizes an ethos appeal in the ad. The ethos appeal is placed

through Maya Angelous voice over of her poem The Human Family. Apple is suggesting

since Maya Angelou (a famous poet) voiced-over for Apples Commercial, that Apples credible,

she supported it, and Apples a product that everyone should buy.

The target audience of The Human Family is directed to people of any gender, race,

nationality, or ethnicity; humans in general. According to a line Apple uses in Maya Angelous

poem, We are more alike my friends, than we are unlike, we are more alike my friends, than we

are unlike, a lot of people from different countries, affiliations, & races actually use Apple & all

people should participate to be more alike, and in harmony. Apple attempts to, in one fatal

swoop, group us as a whole and attempt us to join the connection.

Looking at The Human Family ad, its historical context was shown throughout the ad in

some aspects, & contributed to the main meaning. The ad was set in the time period of the 21st

century, present time (2016). This ad addresses today's societal issues of division based on

pointless matters such as money, race, gender, & sexual orientation (especially so in the riots &

debates about the New President) through Maya Angelou's last repeated words; We more alike,

than we are unlike my friends. We are more alike, than we are unlike my friends. Not much has

changed in issue from when the ad was first aired to exactly now, except for the riots, debates
discussed everyday about the election results, disbandment of relations with families, friends, &

acquaintances due to political choices, and American people leaving the country.

The creation of media choice & composition of ads within The Human Family as well had a

role in the overall meaning. In the commercial, they used a voiceover, people of different

ethnicities, nationalities, race, & relations, and photos in composing the ad. The voiceover was of

a famous poet, Maya Angelou, implying the need for togetherness & harmony. Apple uses Maya

Angelou as a medium to support Apple products, which helped to contribute their meaning. The

utilizing of the many people with differences, in every aspect in the ad, who were taking photos

with Apple products helped signify a need for others to buy them, as well helped the overall

meaning of the ad. The photos taken by Apple Products, was the composition most in their favor.

In Conclusion, after analyzing both the commercials Think Different, & The Human

Family the ad I felt was most effective in conveying their intended message was the commercial

Think Different, from its usage of symbolism (a rainbow to represent difference), & important

historical figures who made a significant difference to American life, resources, & its abilities.

Think Different struck the most strongest & effective pathos appeal, outweighing its lack in

logos appeals & is most prominently known. The audience was more clearly stated in Think

Different, directly I might add, and it's composition was more head turning & eye-catching,

having historical context clearly present in the ad itself. According to Business Insider, Apple's

1997 "Think Different" ad campaign was one of the major turning points in the company's

history, a message to the world that Steve Jobs and his innovative vision had returned to Apple

after leaving in 1985.