Apple's Ad Agency Founder, Jay Chiat, Passes At Age 70

In 1984 the advertising agency, Chiat-Day, helped launch Appleis new Macintosh computer with the now famous i1984i commercial during the Super Bowl. The rest, as they say, is history. On Tuesday, April 23, 2002, Jay Chiat died of cancer in his home in California. A story in the Boston Globe had this to say:

Chiatis guiding hand was behind a host of memorable ad campaigns for companies such as Nike, Nissan Motors and American Express. Familiar characters created by his agencies included the Energizer bunny and a macho doll who romances a Barbie-like doll into a Nissan sports car.

The most striking television spot to come out of his Chiat-Day agency was the Macintosh ad, in which a woman in red shorts and a white tank top carries a long-handled hammer into a room of colorless zombies and hurls it at a screen showing a iibig brotherii type, supposedly representing Appleis chief competitor at the time, IBM.

Mr. Chiatis contributions went beyond commercials, the Boston Globe explains, saying:

Chiat was credited with breaking down the office walls that separated pinstriped advertising copywriters and fostering interiors with no walls and no assigned desks, the so-called iivirtual office.ii

Read the full story on the Boston Globeis Web site.

It should also be noted that Mr. Chiat left his advertising firm in the mid-90s, to help head another company called Screaming Media. Screaming Media is a brokerage for Internet content, taking content produced by one party, and selling it for reprinting to other parties. [Editoris Note: The Mac Observer is client with Screaming Media.] From Screaming Mediais Investor Relations Web page:

Jay Chiat has served as Chairman Emeritus since May 8, 2001. He has been a director since April 1997, and he served as chairman of our board of directors between November 1999 and May 2001. Between November 1998 and November 1999, he also served as interim chief executive officer.