Steve Jobs Planned a Willy Wonka-like Celebration for the Millionth iMac Purchase

Posted in Apple, Apple News, Mac on 26/04/2012 by J. Glenn Künzler


Ken Segall, who named the iMac and worked on the “Think Different” campaign, has just released his new book,  Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drive Apple’s Success. The book shares a ton of interesting and little-known stories and insights about Apple and Steve Jobs.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating stories in the book (shared by MacRumors) is that Steve Jobs wanted to put a “golden ticket” in an iMac box to celebrate the millionth iMac sold, publicize the fact that the ticket was out there somewhere, and then hold a Willy Wonka style celebration for whoever found it! He even planned to dress up in a purple suit and a top hat!

From the book:

Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.

Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.

Unfortunately, Jobs’ plan was ruined by California law, which required that individuals be allowed to enter the contest without purchase of any kind. This, of course, took the wind out of Mr. Wonka’s (er…Jobs) sails.

I suppose his employees wouldn’t have appreciated dressing up like Oompa Loompas anyway – but it would have been fascinating to see Steve Jobs and Apple pull it off! You can purchase Ken Segall’s new book on Amazon ($12.99, link), or through the iBookstore ($12.99, link).


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.