Apple has taken Swatch to task in a Swiss court over the major watchmaker’s most recent advertising campaign slogan “Tick different.”
Apple’s argument is that it bares a striking similarity to its own campaign, which used the line “Think different,” back in 1997 following the return of Steve Jobs to the company. However, Apple ceased using the slogan all the way back in 2002.
Though the similarities are obvious, Apple might also be concerned that link goes further than just words. Swatch is using the slogan to promote a smartwatch which could quite easily be seen as competing with the Apple Watch.
Swatch’s new Bellamy quartz watch has built-in NFC Visa payment technology, just like the Watch.
Meanwhile, Swatch is arguing that the slogan’s roots don’t start with Apple, but with itself. The company is pointing to an ad campaign it launched in the 80s which featured the phrasing: “Always different, always new.”
If this all seems pretty petty, that might be a legitimate view. Following the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, Swatch’s CEO Nick Hayek described the device as an “interesting toy.”
The company had previously managed to prevent Apple from using the term iWatch in the UK prior to its launch, which could have led Apple to rethink the device’s name.
And later, Swatch also trademarked Steve Jobs’ oft-used phrase “one more thing,” frequently spoken shortly before the former Apple CEO announced a major new product. Swatch said that it wasn’t Jobs’ line, but fictional character Inspector Columbo’s. Though why that association would lead to Swatch’s claim isn’t clear either.
In order for Apple to win the case it has to prove that at least fifty percent of consumers will associate the new slogan with new Apple products, which certainly isn’t a far-fetched notion.
Watch the 1997 commercial “Think Different” below.
Original source: Watson