Did you hear that? That was the sound of millions of Apple customers watching the new iPhone 5 ads and together breathing a huge sigh of relief.
After soiling its nest with the short-lived Genius campaign, Apple has created the best iPhone commercials since … well, since iPhone.
While previous years’ ads have been good enough to keep the natives happy, they never really rose to the “magical” level.
The celebrity ads for Siri were probably the first to go someplace new — even if that place was troublesome for a lot of people.
With these iPhone 5 ads, Apple breathes new life into the product demo genre, and that’s not an easy trick. Thanks to some good old-fashioned creativity, all the elements feel fresh.
The visual treatment appeals on a human level without resorting to scenes of babies, expectant parents or beaming grandparents. In the Cheese spot (at the end of this article), we see some seriously adorable kids lining up for a group photo. It rates very high on the cute-meter, but does so with sophistication.
The soundtrack is very Apple, giving all the spots a light and airy mood.
But two major components of these commercials really make them shine: the voice and the scripts.
Apple’s previous voice, Peter Coyote, was liked by many. Personally, I found him to be somewhat conventional. Whenever I heard his voice, it felt like a company was talking to me.
These ads are different. Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) gives a natural performance. When I hear his voice, I feel like a human being is talking to me.
Jeff brings a personality to these ads. More important, he brings a personality that fits Apple perfectly: intelligent, friendly and a little quirky. The creative team did a great job of directing him.
Jeff is 95% of what makes this campaign feel fresh and new, so it was a stroke of genius to recruit him. Hopefully he’s locked in for many ads to come.
Of course you can’t separate the voice from the words. Unlike the Genius spots that tried so hard to be funny, these scripts “just work.” They capture Apple’s intelligent wit. They not only make their point — they make you smile.
In the aftermath of the Genius campaign, I noted that it wasn’t time to panic. Apple is only human (something you can’t say for a lot of advertisers), and even the most talented people sometimes make mistakes. If Apple had stumbled twice in a row with its advertising, I would have been concerned.
But it didn’t.
This new campaign is beautifully produced and a pleasure to watch. It sends exactly the right message — not just about the products, but about the company that creates them.
If you haven’t seen them already, here are the three other spots in this wave of commercials. Two more for iPhone 5 and one for EarPods.