Every year, Apple publishes a heartwarming holiday ad that shows off its products in some way. This year, Saving Simon, directed by Jason Reitman, shows off the iPhone 13 Pro, which was used to film the three-minute spot.
Saving Simon tells the story of a small snowman that a girl saves from destruction in her yard by storing it in her family’s freezer. In the months that follow, the girl checks in on Simon, who lives in the freezer alongside the family’s frozen food.
When the winter comes again, the girl takes Simon back outside to the family’s front yard. I won’t spoil the ending, but it ends with the family coming together to help the girl and her snowman friend.
In April 2019, Apple published a video called The Underdogs that followed the story of a team of co-workers designing a round pizza box. Today, the quartet is back in a sequel of sorts called The Whole Work-From-Home Thing.
The new video follows the same group of colleagues as they attempt to design an all-new box while working from home. The story follows the quartet as they work around the clock on a tight deadline while juggling personal obligations and coping with working remotely.
The pace is frenetic. Over the course of the multi-day ordeal, the group turns to their Macs, iPads, and iPhones to come up with ideas and design the box. They also rely on a wide array of apps, including third-party apps like MindNode and Adobe InDesign.
Like its predecessor, ‘The Whole Work-From-Home Thing’ is funny but succeeds at demonstrating ways that Apple hardware and apps can solve some of the problems facing many people these days. This video may hit a little too close to home and stress some people out a bit, but I enjoyed the lighthearted fun poked at working from home and think it’s well worth watching.
The Caffè Macs pizza box was already something of a legend, but now it has its own Apple video too.
Earlier today, Apple posted a three-minute video title ‘The Underdogs’ which tells the story of a group of co-workers who stumble into the opportunity to pitch their idea for a round pizza box to their bosses. One of the group is rear-ended in a company parking lot at the start of the day. To make amends, a meeting to pitch the box is arranged.
The quartet of co-workers gets to work turning a simple sketch of a round pizza box into a finished product in a few days’ time. They use a combination of Macs, iPhones, iPad Pros, and the Apple Watch running a variety of apps including Microsoft Office apps like Excel, a 3D-design tool, and an AR app to get the job done. The video closes with the tag line ‘This is Apple at Work’ as the group jumps into an elevator on their way to make their presentation.
The video is nicely done capturing the frantic pace of a the group as they try to make the most of the opportunity presented to them. As Cabel Sasser of Panic notes though, what’s even better about the video is that the pizza box they design is the same pizza box that Apple patented and uses at its Caffè Macs cafeteria at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino.
Apple’s patented pizza box has been featured before including in a 2017 feature onThe Outline.
‘This is Apple at Work’ is featured on a special Apple at Work webpage on Apple.com that showcases how its products can be used in a collaborative work environment. The page walks through each stage of the design of the pizza box and the tools the team in the video uses to create it. The six-part feature even includes a downloadable USDZ augmented reality file of the pizza box featured in the video.
I like this video a lot. It does a great job of telling a compelling story in just a few minutes that’s relatable to a wide audience and demonstrates how Apple believes its products can help solve everyday problems faced by people at work. Whether or not the lives of this quartet of co-workers parallels yours, this is a video worth watching for its sheer comedic entertainment value.
Fun new iPad Pro commercial by Apple. The ad follows the company’s recent marketing strategy to establish the iPad Pro as “a computer unlike any computer”. That may be a difficult message to get across, but Apple used a mix of features that highlight the unique nature of the iPad well: power, apps, portability, multitouch, and Apple Pencil.
Of these five categories, it is pretty obvious which is the one that Apple should focus on more going forward.
Just ahead of Thanksgiving in the United States, Apple posted their annual holiday ad on YouTube earlier today. The company’s holiday commercials have become a tradition in recent years, and they tend to carry a message that goes beyond advertising the specific features of Apple products.
This year’s ad, titled Sway, is all about AirPods and Apple Music. The video is set on Tuesday, December 19, and follows a woman who starts dancing and walking down a street as she listen to Sam Smith’s Palace on her AirPods. The performance continues after she bumps into a man walking by and the two start dancing together in the snow while sharing AirPods. The ad cuts back to reality and the tagline “move someone this holiday” appears. As with holiday ads in previous years, Apple picked a beautiful song to accompany the video; the incredible choreography nicely complements the idea of sharing a moment with someone through music.
Apple’s 2017 holiday commercial follows last year’s ‘Frankie’s Holiday’ and 2015’s ‘Someday at Christmas’ featuring Andra Day and Steve Wonder. You can watch the video below.
Apple posted two videos highlighting the Memories feature of its iOS Photos app. One, called ‘The Archives,’ is part of Apple’s ‘practically magic’ series of videos and features an elderly man creating a film called ‘Together.’ When the man pulls a photograph out of a cabinet with dozens of drawers, it comes alive with a short snippet of video like a Live Photo.
After gathering a cart-load of photos and film, the man begins the laborious process of splicing them together into a film. The heartwarming spot captures the time, care, and attention needed to painstakingly create a movie from analog photos and videos, making the unstated point of how easy it is to do the same thing in Photos.
The second spot is in stark contrast to the first. It demonstrates the three steps to using Photos’ Memories feature:
- Open the Photos app
- Go to the Memories Tab
- Choose a Memory
The two spots, which both feature Memories called ‘Together,’ are a clever one-two punch intended to convey how simple Photos has made it to create photo and video montages that once would have taken hours of work.
Update: Apple has posted an additional video featuring the AirPods called ‘Stroll,’ which is a longer version of the Siri video described below. You can watch the video at the end of this article.
Apple posted three 15-second advertisements featuring AirPods. Each video is black and white, except for the screens of the iPhones that make an appearance in two of the clips. All three also features the single ’Down’ by Marian Hill.
Two of the videos start with a man walking down the street of a city. In the first spot, the lead character taps his AirPods twice to activate Siri and says ‘Play Marian Hill,’ which starts the music. The second spot opens with another person flipping open his AirPods case to pair his AirPods, then immediately cuts to him dancing down the street and horizontally along the side of a car. Both ads close with the taglines ‘AirPods on iPhone 7’ and ‘practically magic.’
The third ad substitutes musical notes on a staff with AirPods scrolling by as ‘Down’ plays. The clip concludes with AirPods emerging from their case and the pairing interface opening on an iPhone 7.
These are the first advertisements to focus on AirPods. The first two ads do a great job of quickly showing off a feature then focusing on the freedom of movement afforded by AirPods. The final spot that substitutes musical notes with AirPods is more focused on showing off the product, delightfully linking the AirPods with the music they play.
Apple holiday ads have become a tradition and some of the best spots each year. Who can forget the Emmy-award-winning ‘Misunderstood’ from 2013, featuring what appeared to be a sulking teenager who was really making a movie about his family’s Christmas gathering? This year, Apple has released ‘Frankie’s Holiday’ featuring Brad Garrett, one of the stars on the hit TV show ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’
Garrett who is over 6’8” plays Frankenstein, not a character that jumps to mind when you think about Christmas. The spot opens with Frankenstein recording a music box playing a holiday tune using Apple’s Voice Memos app. Frankenstein leaves his mountain home for the town in the valley below. As he leaves, he picks up a package that he takes with him.
A large group is gathered in the town square around a Christmas tree. They are startled to see Frankenstein who walks to the base of the tree, opens up the package he brought along with him, and removes Christmas lights that he screws into his neck. As the bulbs light up, Frankenstein plays the music he recorded on his iPhone, ‘There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays, and begins to sing. One of the bulbs goes out and it seems like Frankenstein is going to give up on his performance when a little girl helps him by fixing the misbehaving light and joining Frankenstein and the rest of the crowd in singing the song.
Frankie’s Holiday starts out unsettling and confusing because of the unusual choice of a lead character, but when the scene switches to the town square the ad quickly becomes funny, concluding with a heart-warming message of acceptance and inclusion and the message “Open your hearts to everyone.’
Apple posted a video on YouTube promoting the new Touch Bar MacBook Pros. The video cuts frenetically between a long line of Edison bulbs exploding down a darkened street and into the countryside, and scenes of human inventions from the discovery of fire to a robot walking down a street. The spot concludes with ‘Ideas push the world forward,’ echoing the line ‘They push the human race forward’ from Apple’s famous 1997 ‘Crazy Ones’ ad.
The ad then cuts to the line ‘Introducing a tool for all the ideas to come.’ A MacBook Pro comes into view with an Edison bulb on the screen. A hand scrubs back and forth across a slider on the Touch Bar making the video of the exploding bulb fast forward and rewind. The video does a nice job demonstrating the marquee feature of the new MacBook Pros, but an even better job, through its use of pacing, music, and editing, of giving a sense of the speed at which technology advances in what feels like an oblique response to critics of the changes made to Apple’s laptop line.