Apple Increasingly Frustrates Helena Bonham Carter by Showing Just How Much a Watch Can Do

In the early 1990s, AT&T famously predicted much of technology’s future in a Tom Selleck-narrated campaign called “You Will.” (See below to revisit the ads, which foresaw everything from remote learning to widespread WiFi.) Today, Apple announced its new Apple Watch Series 6 with a sweepingly epic video that follows in the tradition of “You…

TBWAMAL Channels Lamorisse’s ‘The Red Balloon’ in New iPhone 7 Ad

Remember The Red Baloon? The 1956 short by French director Albert Lamorisse has become something of a childhood staple and the film, which won both an Oscar for best original screenplay and a Palme d’Or, is generally remembered fondly by kids and film students everywhere.

TBWAMedia Arts Lab seems to have looked to the film for inspiration (we’re not the only ones to make the comparison) in its new spot promoting the iPhone 7’s new expressive messages capability, allowing users to send animated messages including, yep, balloons.

The spot opens on a solitary red balloon, which floats out a window, across mountains and forests to the city. There it is met by a swarm of balloons of all different colors before reaching its ultimate destination.

That description probably sounds pretty familiar if you’re acquainted with the aforementioned Albert Lamorisse film, but the 60-second spot comes across as an homage rather than a mere rip-off. Its cinematic scenes are well constructed and ultimately in service of a message that is well tied to a feature of the product. If it takes “Baloons” awhile to get to the point, its eye candy should entice viewers enough to get them there.

The spot is the latest in the brand’s “Practically Magic” campaign for the new iPhone, which launched earlier this month with TBWAMAL’s “Midnight” and the in-house effort “Morning Ride.”

This isn’t the first ad to focus on a red balloon, though the homage in W+K’s 2014 animated Coca-Cola spot was a little less direct.

A Lone Red Balloon's Journey Ends Joyfully in Latest 'Practically Magic' iPhone 7 Spot

Among iOS 10’s shiny new toys is a messaging feature that allows you to add effects to your message bubbles, send full-screen animations with your messages, add handwritten notes and more. Apple pushes those capabilities with a pretty new spot from TBWAMedia Arts Lab that focuses on one full-screen animation in particular.

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James Corden Pitches Delightfully Terrible Ad Ideas to Apple Music in This Meta Spot

There’s a certain kind of advertising that you know is vying for a Cannes Lion, the kind of prestige work that will really make you think about the state of humanity—and if you’re lucky, the brand behind the spot. 

Apple Music’s new spot, which broke on Sunday night’s Emmy Award telecast and pointed to the extended online version version below (brilliant timing, A+ media team), has James Corden pitching ad ideas for Apple Music—goofy and, later, overly ambitious ideas—much to the chagrin of Apple’s execs, who’d rather just tell people about the app’s functionality. 

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TBWAMAL Touts iPhone 7 as ‘Practically Magic’ in ‘Midnight’

TBWAMedia Arts Lab launched its first big effort for the new iPhone 7, focusing on the phone’s low-light camera in the 60-second broadcast spot “Midnight.”

The spot shows off the new iPhone’s low-light camera via a boy skateboarding around town and taking photos in the middle of the night. Set to “In A Black Out” by Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam, the spot follows the young photographers as he takes shots of moths around a lightbulb, sprinklers going off in a yard (touching on the phone’s water resistance as well), a deer roaming around a gas station and the moon over a cityscape below.

As you would expect from an centering on the phone’s perks for photography, it’s all very beautifully shot. The attention to detail in the lighting and cinematography is a step up from Apple’s usual offerings and the scene is paced well to the musical selection. It’s also not hard to see why Apple and TBWAMAL chose the approach, as the iPhone’s camera has consistently been a selling point for the brand.

“Midnight” made its broadcast debut last night during the Emmy’s and was joined by another spot promoting the iPhone 7, “Morning Ride.” The 30-second, in-house spot gives the water resistance feature center stage. It focuses on a bicyclist preparing to go out on a morning ride, in the middle of a thunderous rainstorm, concluding with the “Perfectly Magic” just as his garage door opens.

Water resistance is also one of the features promoted in “Go Time,” the brand’s in-house production for the Apple Watch Series 2. Set to the Nina Simone classic “Sinnerman,” the spot features a montage of users showing off various features, among them the aforementioned water resistance (up to 50 meters) and built-in GPS. The usual crowd is targeted, with Apple Watch users in the ad including both dedicated workout enthusiasts and young people who just want the latest accessory.

Apple's First Big iPhone 7 Spot Is One of the Most Gorgeously Lit Commercials Ever

Apple broke a pair of iPhone 7 commercials during the Emmy Awards on Sunday night, advertising the latest incarnation of the device with the line: “Practically magic.” The spots push two improvements in particular—the camera’s upgraded abilities in low light, and the phone’s overall new water resistance.

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Conan Made This Hilarious and Perfect AirPods Ad Spoofing the iPod Silhouettes

When Apple introduced its wireless AirPod earphones at its media event last week, there was immediate suspicion that these cute little gizmos might pose a particular problem for consumers. Conan O’Brien latches on to that criticism in very amusing style with the parody ad below—spoofing Apple’s famous iPod “Silhouettes” ads from the early 2000s.

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A Cheeky Design Firm Created an Easy Way to Enjoy the iPhone 7 Experience Right Now

Excited to get an iPhone 7 but don’t want to wait until next week to embrace the future? Try the Apple Plug, which kills your headphone jack right now.

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Jim Beam Unveils Its Own Apple Watch, a 'Drinkable Wearable' for Doing Wrist Shots

Brands don’t newsjack Apple events quite as often as they used to. But Jim Beam is ambushing today’s announcements from the tech marketer by introducing an April Fools’-esque gadget called the Jim Beam Apple Watch, which puts a 1.5-ounce shot glass right on your wrist.

It gets away with the Apple reference because Jim Beam Apple is a real line extension from the whiskey brand. “The watch’s streamlined interface opens and closes manually on demand. And while it doesn’t tell time, it does save time, eliminating the need for a last-minute shot glass search,” the brand says of the gag product.

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Microsoft Sings a Weird Ditty About Why Macbooks Suck, Just for Fun

Microsoft is still getting catty with Apple. This time, in song.

A new ad for the Surface Pro 4 pokes fun at the Macbook Air, continuing one of the Windows giant’s favorite traditions of recent years—mocking Siri, and other aspects of Apple products, in its marketing.

Unlike previous commercials, though, this attack—from M:United and Reset director Daniel Warwick—comes in musical form, with a man praising the Microsoft tablet and berating the Apple laptop in pop honky-tonk rhymes that might leave you laughing, or else curled up on the floor in the fetal position crying in pain.

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Maya Angelou Illuminates the Human Family in Apple's Beautiful Rio Olympics Spot

Building on Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign, TBWAMedia Arts Lab gives us “The Human Family,” a new spot with Maya Angelou narrating her poem “The Human Family.” 

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TBWAMedia Arts Lab Shoots ‘The Human Family’ on an iPhone

Today TBWAMedia Arts Lab launched “The Human Family,” the latest in its “Shot on an iPhone” campaign for Apple.

The spot takes a different tone then past efforts in the campaign with narration Maya Angelou, who reads from her poem “Human Family.”

In its images as well as the words, the spot celebrates the similarities of that family, underscoring how “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Set to a dramatic piano score, Angelou’s narration is paired with a series of images shot, of course, on the iPhone 6S, which represent people’s differences, similarities and human connections.

It’s quite the departure from “Onions,” the 60-second spot TBWAMedia Arts Lab released to promote the iPhone 6S back in April.

At the time, we appreciated that the agency was keeping things light for Apple, but while “The Human Family” takes a more serious approach for the brand, it works. That’s largely thanks to Angelou, whose words and strong narration make what is otherwise just a slide show of photos and video seem like something more substantive.

We do still kind of miss Cookie Monster, though.

Lee Clow Celebrates Media Arts Lab's 10th Birthday by Getting His First Tattoo

In case Lee Clow‘s commitment to Apple’s advertising weren’t already clear enough, he’s officially made it permanent.

A new video shows the industry icon getting inked by well-known tattoo artist Scott Campbell, to mark the 10th anniversary of TBWAMedia Arts Lab, the Omnicom agency’s dedicated Apple wing.

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Apple Revels in Beautiful, Rich Color in Its Latest Global 'Shot on iPhone' Billboards

Apple and TBWAMedia Arts Lab are back with more “Shot on iPhone” billboards. And this time, the focus in on the color—deep reds, oranges, yellows, blues, purples and greens, all hand-selected for each out-of-home location around the globe.

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Camera Store Mocks Photos Taken With Phones in Spoof of Apple's iPhone Ads

Apple’s “Shot on iPhone 6” print and outdoor ads, featuring real photos taken by real iPhone 6 users, has been very popular since its launch in early 2015, even picking up a Grand Prix award at Cannes. But of course, not every photo taken with an iPhone, or any smartphone, looks quite as perfect as that campaign would suggest.

Lens & Shutter, a three-location photography store chain in Canada, specializing in DSLR cameras, reminds its target market of the limitations of smartphone cameras in a fun parody of the Apple campaign—featuring the line “Shot on a phone.”

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Apple Is Using Real iPhone Footage to Put Moms in the Spotlight for Mother's Day

Apple’s new Mother’s Day video might be a week early, but there really isn’t a bad time to tell your mom you love her, right? Right. Also, the way Apple sees it, there isn’t a bad time to show off the clarity of the iPhone’s camera, either.

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New Apple Watch Spots Don’t Leave Much of an Impression

TBWA/MAL Celebrates iPhone as ‘Loved’

TBWA/Media Arts Lab launched a new spot celebrating the popularity of Apple’s iPhone among its userbase, entitled “Loved.”
The spot even claims that “99 percent of people that have an iPhone, love their iPhone,” which it claims makes the device unique. Without going into detail about what sets the device apart, the 30-second spot champions the device as the smart phone to have. It does show off the phone in action, in split-scene shots of two, three, four and then dozens of the device all engaging in related tasks before ending with the unfortunate tagline, “If it’s not an iPhone. It’s not an iPhone.” Still, it would have been nice if TBWA/MAL could have done a little more to point out what exactly makes the phone so “Loved” as the action of the spot is ambiguous and a bit flat. Surely some of those iPhone-lovers could offer some insight into what sets the device apart from the rest. As it is, detractors can point to the lack of substance as indicative that it’s the hype itself that makes people flock to the iPhone, but perhaps TBWA/MAL will get more specific in future ads.

Apple Pats Itself on the Back in These Oddly Self-Affirming iPhone Ads

In case you were wondering, only an iPhone is an iPhone, says Apple in a head-scratching pair of new ads.

One spot, “Loved” points out, unsurprisingly, that everyone who has an iPhone is a fan. A second spot. “Hardware & Software,” argues that because Apple is responsible for controlling the manufacturing of the device itself, and developing the software that runs on it, it’s more reliable than imitators.

The spots are slick, and zippy, in Apple’s usual style. They’re well-produced, with a lot to look at—happy people snapping candids, nifty apps at work—in some ways, the bread and butter of the mobile revolution, or at least its promise. Unfortunately, while Apple can claim bragging rights for essentially inventing the smartphone, there’s a casual smugness to the approach that seems to parody itself unintentionally—just shy of the kind of thing Microsoft would come up with in an attempt to hawk a knockoff feature.

Anyone not living under a rock knows what an iPhone is, and that it’s “different.” But particularly in the first ad, Apple’s cool factor—while a significant part of the company’s historical success—doesn’t work very well as an explicit selling point. Especially not compared to the brand’s recent, Grand-Prix-winning print campaign, which blew up to billboard size gorgeous imagery that users shot on their iPhones and did a much better job of creating an instant emotional connection to the product.

It did so, notably, by showing in a simple and focused way what it could do for buyers—a specific, powerful use demonstrated to the extreme (rather than, say, a contrived, would-be sizzling blitz through the many potential joys of having one).

The second spot is a little better, with the possibility of spurring consumers who are considering an alternative to dig deeper on the debate around the pros and cons of Apple’s closed system and the more open Android. It suffers, though, from the same ridiculous tagline: “If it’s not an iPhone it’s not an iPhone.”

That may be true. But the ads might still feel like they’re for a Windows Phone.

TBWA/MAL Chronicles Journey of Sound to Hype Apple’s Music Service

In the wake of keynote presentations and exaltation from the likes of Drake, Interscope/Beats man Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor (who provides VO on this product demo video) at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, Apple unveiled this spot to further hype its newest product: a streaming music service.

Created by longtime agency partner TBWA/Media Arts Lab, the :60 film aptly titled “History of Sound” takes us on a 127-year journey beginning with the days of the gramophone and veering into the era of turntables, 8-track tapes and ultimately digital downloading. Thankfully, the Apple Music branding is merely an afterthought in this spot, which is buoyed by hypnotic percussion as it leads viewers through various moments in pop music history including everyone from hippies to punk-rockers to beatheads.

The “History of Sound” sound spot seems to echo earlier WWDC proclamations that Apple Music is something revolutionary, though critics were quick to bring up Spotify and even Tidal comparisons after the announcement. Regardless, Apple Music is launching on June 30 and it will run $9.99/month (or $14.99 for the family pack). You can get the full rundown of the service here or pretty much anywhere else on the internet.