Apple Adds Ad Guru To Marketing Team

Facing stiff competition on all fronts, Apple appears determined to keep its marketing edge in 2014.

To that end, the company that Steve Jobs built has brought in Arem Duplessis, longtime design director at The New York Times Magazine, as creative director.

Made up of internal staff and agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab, Apple's ad team suffered a serious blow earlier this month when it lost Scott Trattner to Facebook.

Although he left to do a short stint at Samsung's ad agency 72andSunny, Trattner spent nearly a decade as executive creative director at TBWA\Media Arts Lab.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

While Duplessis’ purview at Apple is not yet known, there is no shortage of products and services for the design guru to help market next year.

Among other endeavors, analysts are predicting an updated Apple TV box running on Apple's new A7 processor in 2014, while actual Apple-branded TV sets are not expected until 2015 or 2016.

Meanwhile, while its release remains a mystery, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White recently reported on the development of Apple's “iWatch,” which one supplier described as “a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home.”

By some measures, Apple lost a bit of brand luster in 2013. During the year, Apple earned a consumer satisfaction score of 83 -- behind Amazon's score of 87, but better than Google’s score of 81 -- according to ForeSee, which analyzes customer experience analytics.

Beyond advertising, Apple rivals are going right to the source to mine the brand’s marketing magic.

Samsung, for example, recently hired former Apple Store designer Tim Gudgel to mirror the brand’s physical retail success. Having already experimented with pop-up spaces in shopping malls and Best Buy locations, the Korean company is reportedly considering more permanent retail stores in the United States.

Apple, however, did some poaching of its own this year. In a major coup, the company recently brought on Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to head up strategy, expansion, and operation of its retail and online stores.

More broadly, despite beating analyst expectations, Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter results stirred concerns about the company’s health.

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