updated 11:10 pm EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Spot features Pixies' song, array of apps and users
A new Apple ad premiered tonight on Disney-owned ABC, called "Powerful." The 90-second spot (now available on Apple's YouTube channel) is the first this year to spotlight the iPhone 5s rather than the iPhone 5c, and features a band performing the Pixies song "Gigantic" while an array of apps -- beginning with musically-oriented ones, then branching off in other directions -- is shown. Like most recent Apple ads, the focus is on enabling people to do interesting things using their iPhones.
The ad has a new tagline: "You're more powerful than you think," which reinforces the message of the current series of ads. The TV spot starts off with a street performer guitarist attaching his iPhone to his guitar (and plugging the guitar into the iPhone) ahead of performing in a subway. This is followed by a performance artist creating sounds using the accelerometer in her iPhone, which is strapped to her hand. A bassist is seen tuning up using an iPhone app, and a young drummer and singer use apps to keep time or tune the desired vocal effect, respectively.
As the song begins in earnest, the viewer also sees lighting designers controlling stage lighting, gamers playing together on iPhones that send the game wirelessly to a projector, and a father capturing a slow-motion video of his monster-suited child destroying a building-block city. The song is seen as being played by the band, the performance artist, and a brass band that shows up at a street party.
Other scenes include motorcyclists using an app to translate a sign into English, using the iPhone's camera; an athlete putting his finger to the flash on the phone so that a fitness app can read his pulse; rocket enthusiasts using an app to simultaneously launch a set into the sky; and a teacher using the Star Walk app to project an annotated night sky to an audience of students. In the ABC version that premiered this evening, the Sprint logo appeared ahead of the Apple logo, though any carrier is able to run the ad.
A shorter version of the ad will likely appear in other markets and stations over time, as is customary for Apple ads.