I read this post on Scobleizer and agreed wholeheatedly with him why Apple have a great brand. I felt that they knew how they could connect with their audience. The idea to remember Rosa Parks on their website was sound. But..
I just read comments on Mini-AOL‘s blog about the same topic. The question raised was “is it right to use her image with a company logo?” It’s a very good question. I went back to Apple’s website and had another look at the image. Sure enough there is the Apple logo and “think different” underneath, which I saw before but never really thought too much about – why should I? it is an image in memory of Rosa Parks – that was the main message. Apple’s logo and tagline is subtle.
If that poster had been used on a billboard somewhere I might have thought the same thing as Mini-AOL right off the bat. That of course for me is the problem. I think Apple did go too far “over the line” in this case. The line is of course blurry, but I think it would have been better to just show the image in memory of Rosa Parks – most people would have still have got the subtle connection to Apple’s brand – but at least the non-cynical could say that they were doing it to remember an important person in America’s history. I am not certain you could argue that with apple’s logo and tagline on it.
[UPDATE] There is a lesson to be learnt here – obtain all the facts before criticizing (or praising!) somebody. I found out over the weekend that Apple had previously run that specific poster in an advertising campaign – for me this changes things – they no longer took a poster of Rosa Parks and added their logo and tag.