updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
Second in series of ads playing up popularity, simplicity
Continuing with a nearly voiceless and poetic new campaign, Apple's latest TV ad for the iPhone is called "Music Every Day" and carries on the theme begun in the previous "Photos Every Day" ad, touting a major feature of the iPhone that is not unique to it, but more widely used on the platform than on any of its rivals with visually beautiful montages anchored to a single, simple piece of music.
In the one-minute commercial, various shots of people listening to music -- sometimes reacting to it, sometimes not -- are shown. Rather than the iPhone itself, in most shots we see only the ubiquitous white headphone cords that have become synonymous with the iPhone. The phone is rarely seen in full, rather being held or obviously tucked into a pocket. While some listen to their music quietly, others wave fingers in the air, tap tables, dance or mouth the words of songs as they go through their day.
Interestingly, the music being heard by the pictured users is not heard by the audience, with the ad preferring to use a single, piano-based theme that echoes ambient works by artists such as Harold Budd, John Foxx and Brian Eno, while also offering colors of classical music and pop with a very spiritual feel. The music has some environmental noise laid over it as certain shots require: a crowded street scene, snapping fingers, a shower running, a jumprope slapping the floor, environmental sounds.
The ad makes no attempt to call attention to the model of iPhone used, the iTunes software or (except for one shot) any related music programs -- apart from a brief scene in which an iPhone is controlling a DJing experience at a club. The emphasis throughout the ad is solely on the fact that listening to music is an essential part of the smartphone experience for iPhone users. This even extends to a questionable shot of a hand reaching out from a shower to change a track (the phone is positioned by a window, but in general it is a bad idea to bring an iPhone anywhere near a shower due to the presence of potentially damaging steam vapor and risk of water-based accidents).
As the music crescendoes, a voice over simply says that "every day, more people enjoy music on the iPhone than on any other phone" -- a reminder that while Android-based devices overall may have higher sales than the iPhone, Apple's phone remains by far the number one individual brand. Particularly in contrast with noisier, more aggressive ads, Apple's spot is quiet, reflective, beautifully shot and intellectually stimulating -- more like a portrait of an intangible portion of modern life than a TV commercial.