To further commemorate the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the original Macintosh on January 24, 1984, Apple has published a new ad shot entirely with iPhones on a single day in 15 different locations around the world. The creative production of the ad was overseen by Jake Scott, son of Ridley Scott, who directed the iconic 1984 commercial. On January 24, 2014, iPhone-equipped crews sent by Apple to 15 separate locations started uploading raw footage to a server in the United States, where Angus Wall and a team of 21 editors could edit using Macs.

Apple’s new commercial doesn’t only focus on Macs — while they’re prominently displayed, Apple highlights how the impact of the Mac has changed the computer industry, leading to the creation of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. All Apple products are shown in the ad: there’s a father making breakfast for his son using an app to control his prosthetic hands; a conductor analyzing musicians’ performance with a Mac; kids using iPads at school, and more.

From sunrise in Melbourne to nightfall in Los Angeles, they documented people doing amazing things with Apple products. They shot over 70 hours of footage — all with the iPhone 5s. Then it was edited and scored with an original soundtrack. Thanks to the power of the Mac and the innovations it has inspired, an effort that normally takes months was accomplished in a matter of days.

In one day, Apple received footage for 45 stories from 15 locations spanning multiple timezones, which required 36 hours of productions in Los Angeles; Apple used 100 iPhones to shoot over 70 hours of footage. As Apple notes, “initially, the team of cinematographers thought they would need lots of professional equipment and software”, but in the end only iPhones with “additional equipment” were used.

Even more impressively, Apple notes that Jake Scott and his team transformed a sound stage in Los Angeles to oversee production remotely using Macs, iPads, and external displays. Scott could direct cinematographers remotely with FaceTime (as shown by Apple, a second iPhone followed each shooting session for real-time feedback) and have an instant overview of footage coming from around the world.

In order to direct 15 separate locations filming in a single day, Jake Scott transformed a sound stage in Los Angeles into a command center. He equipped it with an arsenal of Apple products including iMac, Mac Pro, and iPad, along with large projection displays positioned around the room. From there he was able to watch every scene as it was shot, and direct all the action remotely via FaceTime. Many involved in the production believe this innovative approach to a multilocation shoot will be adopted by other filmmakers.

Today’s commercial is the culmination of Apple’s efforts to communicate the importance of the Mac and the stories of people who use Apple devices. Today’s message, unlike the dedicated Mac webpage, isn’t about the Macintosh per se, but the ecosystem of Apple products that it helped creating.

You can watch the commercial below. (more…)

Your Verse

Apple has today aired a new iPad Air commercial called “Your Verse Anthem” focused on the capabilities of the iPad as a device to express the creativity of the human race. The ad features voiceover by Robin Williams taken from the movie Dead Poets Society; in the clip that Apple chose, John Keating (Robin Williams) describes why people read and write poetry and how everyone can contribute a verse to the world. Interestingly, as noted by Linus Edwards, this isn’t the first time Apple has been inspired by Dead Poets Society. (more…)

Ken Segall:

Most of these people mistake their personal opinion, instinct, values and/or taste for actual marketing talent. There are tens of millions of people who will stop in their tracks at this commercial and wipe a tear from their eye. As a result, they will feel slightly more attached to Apple, which is the marketing purpose of this spot.

Far from depressing, this ad is wonderfully optimistic. In the most human terms, it says that the right technology can bring people closer together. It’s a perfect thought for the holidays.

There will always be people who like to compare speeds and feeds and enjoy a commercial focused on tech specs, but Apple is going in a different direction with this ad.

Just in time for the holidays, Apple today aired and published a new iPhone 5s commercial focused on AirPlay and the impact that capturing memories can have on real life scenarios. The commercial, called “Misunderstood”, was first spotted by 9to5mac and subsequently posted by Apple on their official website and YouTube channel.

The commercial is interesting for a variety of reasons. The underlying theme is fairly straightforward: there’s a family gathering for Christmas, with parents, grandparents, kids, and other relatives getting together to celebrate the holiday. It’s snowing and kids are playing outside, running, building a snowman, and taking walks with their parents. Inside, adults are making preparations, cooking, talking by the Christmas tree — perhaps they’re seeing each other after months of work and normal life routine that prevents them from being always together, all the time. It’s a typical Christmas family reunion.

There’s a teenager with a 5s who in the first half of the commercial is shown constantly checking his iPhone: he’s holding the iPhone as he greets his relatives, he’s absorbed in the display and apps while everybody else is seemingly having a good time, and, again, he goes back to his iPhone while others are looking at the festive tree inside the house. At one point, his grandfather throws a hat towards his iPhone’s camera to grab his attention — “Put that thing down and come join us!“, the commercial seems to say. We’ve all seen (or been) this kid in our lives, full of electronic devices.

And then the commercial changes: as the entire family is gathered in the living room, the boy walks in, his iPhone in hand, and turns on an Apple TV connected to the television. He connects the iPhone to the Apple TV wirelessly with AirPlay, and he starts streaming a video. This is where Apple reveals the story behind the ad: the kid wasn’t just isolating himself from his family because he was bored and he needed his apps — he was making a home video for his family. The perspective changes: what, from the outside, looked like a teenager ignoring family members reveals photos and videos taken with the iPhone’s camera and (likely) edited with iMovie. There are touching clips of kids playing, people hugging, laughing, kissing, and just having the good time that everybody wants to have for Christmas — when life routine is far away in the city and you get to wake up late and take a walk with your kid in the snow. Heads turn in the living room — “How did you make this?”, you can almost hear people ask.

The iPhone shown in the first half of the commercial wasn’t being used as an escape device to kill boredom — it’s advertised as a creation device used to create memories, edit videos, and share a touching moment with family members that you don’t see much often anymore. From the iPhone’s camera point of view, now mirrored via AirPlay onto the big screen for others to see, everything makes more sense: seeing relatives and watching them talk, play, and share personal moments. The iPhone was used to record life rather than escape from it. The home video ends, notably, with a selfie; people are happy, the kid is happy. Cut to family house seen from outside. Happy holidays from Apple.

Apple’s new commercial may be deemed as unrealistic by some (an Apple TV at your grandparents’ house? Teens not using Snapchat?), but it’s good. It’s relatable, human, and it highlights the iPhone’s best features (the 5s’ camera, SloMo, powerful video editing, streaming, music) with the personal touch that Apple has been employing in the past years for commercials such as Photos, Music, and FaceTime Every Day. It’s a clever commercial in that it sells a product while telling a story that people know — but from the angle of technology empowering us in new ways.

The inclusion of the Apple TV and AirPlay is interesting. AirPlay, in its various forms, has long been considered one of Apple’s most undervalued features, and the company is trying to position it as an easy to use and useful companion to the main iPhone experience. There are no screens showing how AirPlay is activated or the Apple TV interface, but the message is there: there’s a way to show iPhone videos on the television. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple will follow-up to this in future commercials.

As Christmas approaches, Apple is once again advertising the iPhone as an experience more than a gadget. It’s not about the camera sensor, the faster processor, the apps, or wireless streaming taken individually — it’s about how all these elements, together, make technology (in this case, Apple’s technology) fit into our lives, empowering us.

You can watch the commercial below.

Oct
21
2013

Aired last night and then posted on Apple’s website and official YouTube channel, “Metal Mastered” is the company’s latest commercial for the iPhone 5s that follows “Plastic Perfected” for the iPhone 5c and a 5s promo video released last month after the device’s announcement.

The commercial focuses on the iPhone 5s’ gold color option and Touch ID with Goldfrapp’s “Ooh La La” playing in the background. The song’s lyrics are timed with the appearance of Touch ID on video, and the commercial prominently features the 5s’ dual-LED flash system as well as iOS 7.

We have embedded the commercial below.

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Alongside the release of iOS 7 and a refresh of the App Store for newly updated iOS 7 apps, Apple has today posted a new commercial for the iPhone 5c and the new OS.

Called “Designed Together”, the commercial focuses on how the design of the iPhone 5c and iOS 7 complement each other in various ways. Apple’s message is that, with the iPhone 5c and iOS 7, the difference between hardware and software has been blurred, much like many aspects of its new operating system. There are playful animations that see iOS 7 features morphing into iPhone 5c hardware, and parts of the iPhone 5c’s colored shell becoming pieces of the iOS 7 interface.

The interplay between hardware and software is something that Apple has been remarking for the past week since the announcement of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, and it’s no surprise that the company is now promoting the idea to the general public through a fun, delightful ad.

You can watch the embedded video below. (more…)

Following commercials for the iPhone 5′s Music and Photos apps, Apple’s “Every Day” campaign is back today with a new television ad called “FaceTime Every Day”. As we expected, the commercial — available on YouTube and Apple’s website — focuses on FaceTime video calling.

The new commercial, similarly to Music Every Day, isn’t primarily aimed at highlighting the technology behind FaceTime or the features of the app; rather, it emphasizes how FaceTime can seamlessly fit into everyday life and turn remote “face to face communication” into something worth enjoying and remembering. Something as natural as talking to another person, but made possible by technology.

A girl shows her engagement ring to, perhaps, her mother or a friend who’s not there with her; a man sends a kiss to his significant other (after having made sure nobody is watching); bits of life around the world — fireworks, an empty apartment, kids playing in the backyard — are shared with FaceTime.

There is no feature checklist. There are no flying robots in a post-apocalyptic scenario or references to wives and Tegra chipsets. The simple idea of connecting people is the checklist. “Every day, more people connect face to face on the iPhone than any other phone”. There’s no mention of FaceTime in the commercial, because there doesn’t need to be: “FaceTime” may be in the ad’s name, but the iPhone experience is the product being advertised.

We have embedded the commercial below. (more…)

Following the “Photos Every Day” commercial first aired last month, Apple today posted a new iPhone 5 ad called “Music Every Day”. As the name suggests, it is a follow-up to the previous commercial, this time with a focus on music.

Music Every Day doesn’t show music apps — instead it puts the spotlight on people enjoying music with their iPhones and Apple’s distinctive white earbuds. The commercial includes a variety of everyday situations — from exercising and waiting in line to a DJ set and a group of friends listening to music in their car. It’s not about the playback feature itself, it’s about music as a life companion.

Apple only briefly shows the iOS Music app in the commercial. The spotlight, unlike the Photos commercial, isn’t strictly on the iPhone’s display itself — rather, it emphasizes how music can seamlessly fit in our lives thanks to a device that’s often carried in a pocket, put on a table or outside of the shower, or shared with friends. The protagonist of the ad isn’t the iPhone per se: it’s people relying on it to enjoy their music.

The iPhone qualities that Apple subtly implies (intuitiveness of the interface, sound quality, portability) are important, but secondary. The voiceover sums it up at the end: “Every day, more people enjoy their music on the iPhone than any other phone”. With an elegant juxtaposition, the ad fades to black.

Apple hasn’t uploaded the new commercial to its website yet, but you can watch the official YouTube version below.

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Ken Segall, author of Insanely Simple, comments on Apple’s new “Photos Every Day” ad:

What this commercial does so well is capture the human side of technology. It’s a reflection of daily life, and it’s easy to see ourselves in it. The ad shows us how essential our phones have become, enabling us to capture the people, places and images we don’t want to forget.

Apple commercials aren’t new to this kind of theme. But I agree — Photos Every Day is one of the best ever made.