Apple’s “Think Differently” ad won many awards including the 1998 Emmy Award for Best Commercial and the 2000 Grand Effie Award for the most effective campaign in America. The ad turned heads and inspired people globally, but the ad also clarified the subconscious understanding shares in our society that cognitive creativity–thinking–is difficult. If those who think differently are misfits, rebels, troublemakers, and crazy, thinking differently sounds great only if you strive to be labeled in this way. The underlying message in this ad is that most people don’t think differently, thus those who do are likely to be seen as deviants from the norm, albeit deviants who will change the world.
This ad helps us understand that we want to think differently, but at the end of the day, we tend to prefer the ease of thinking in line with others because thinking differently is difficult, and it requires the courage to withstand being labeled a crazy misfit, rebel, or troublemaker.