Apple used to own glamor.
Everyone stared and admired and wished they could be as clever and beautiful.
Indeed, many is the meeting I've sat in where ad agency execs used Apple as its primary example of everything from brand love to the genius of simplicity.
Something, though, has become twisted of late. No, not with ad execs -- they still slavishly follow trends in the hope of bathing in their reflected glory.
Rather, Apple is straining to maintain its veneer of indisputable sexiness.
This suspicion seems to have finally leaked through to ad agencies. In the latest survey performed by executive search company the Talent Business, senior agency figures now crave to work with Google, rather than Apple.
Even three years ago, this would have been more sacrilegious than an agency exec paying for his own lunch.
Now, however, Google comes second only to Nike in the list of most desired clients. As Ad Age reports, Apple slipped from second to fifth.
More Technically Incorrect
Apple's advertising has been wayward for some time. It's been partly hamstrung by a lack of new products to advertise. However, the recent attempts to offer high-falutin' philosophy have enjoyed all the fine writing of a corporate manual.
Its "Designed by Apple in California" ad offers limping attempts at lyricism, such as: "This is what matters; the experience of a product."
Google, on the other hand, made some of the best ads of 2012 -- especially the brilliant Chrome ad "Jess Time."
It may well be that on September 10, Apple will create a vibrant revitalization by presenting the unexpected.
Currently, though, it sits not only behind Nike (often the agencies' favorite), but also Google, Volkswagen, and Adidas as the brand agencies most want to work with.
And it's heading in the wrong direction.