Apple to Toyota - Take Down that Theme
A couple days ago I wrote an article discussing Toyota's Scion theme
they'd published in Cydia through Velti
, an advertising agency they use. I was impressed at a major corporation recognizing the niche jailbreak market and pouring some attention into it. The idea brought some interesting possibilities, and the article got some legs, including a mention on Daring Fireball
Apple also heard about the theme and ad campaign. I received a call from our contact at Velti this evening as well as an email asking me to please take the theme out of Cydia. On the phone, he explained Apple had contacted Toyota and requested they remove the theme and stop the advertising campaign. They (Velti) in turn contacted me relaying the message. The reason Velti listed for the removal request of the theme emailed through our dev portal was "Toyota’s making us take it down…" Toyota had agreed to do so to "maintain their good relationship with Apple," our Velti contact told me on the phone.
We first began talking with Velti the end of April last year, and the theme went live February 10th of this year - so Toyota had been thinking about this a while. In the end of March, 2011 we started their ad campaign on ModMyi.com depiction pages within Cydia pointing to the theme.
There's been a lot of mentions in the media throughout the jailbreak years of the cat and mouse game Apple and the jailbreak dev team are supposedly involved in. This is a very direct message, which is not without precedence (remember when they declared jailbreaking illegal?
), but was unexpected. Especially after jailbreaking was officially declared legal
, it's interesting Apple maintains such a heavy stance against a niche who obviously loves their hardware so much.
UPDATE 04/06/11: Apparently Toyota PR told the folks at Gawker (Jalopnik, specifically) Apple never called them, their campaign ended when March did, and it was an "interesting experiment that extended advertising to reach a new, unique audience." Which is strange, since I have a full volley of emails from Velti saying Toyota would like to extend the campaign (and a check from Velti to pay for the extension). Then a sudden phone call and email from Velti saying we'll have to cancel the campaign - and remove the theme as well - because Toyota got a call from Apple.