This week Apple released a new ad that is, quite frankly, as unlike Apple as can be. While Apple has for years been acclaimed for its eloquent, clean, inspiring, and rather calculated advertisements featuring its products, this week’s ad featured products in a much more realistic setting. Though the popularity of products from iPhones to AirPods is so prevalent that Apple no longer has to reiterate its slogan of “think different,” Apple has always been rooted to this famous catchphrase.
Now, the slogan that once emphasized that having a Mac computer was out of the ordinary almost seems ironic today. However, with this ad Apple shows how, in a world in which it now dominates, it has not wavered from its promise to inspire customers to “think different;” it’s simply evolved the meaning to keep up with changing times.
Why does it work?
No matter how good an advertisement is, if it doesn’t resonate from the core of brand, it’s not a good ad. The important thing to remember is that while Apple no longer includes the phrase “think different” in commercials, the idea has been so beautifully integrated into the brand’s ethos over the years that Apple no longer has to say it.
Every single effort up to this point has portrayed that Apple products are revolutionary and innovative — even though some may disagree. That is the importance of branding. Even if a company comes up with a product that’s technically better, Apple’s technology is always branded to seem as though it’s the absolute best because of its innovation. While this ad is not quite the outer space-themed, white background kind of ads we’re used to, it works because it sticks to their core purpose of challenging the norm — just in a different way. We’ve found that the ad itself encourages viewers to think differently about more than just one thing.
Think different when solving problems
Apple is seen everywhere. From desktops to watches, it’s not rare to see someone rocking Apple from head to toe. However, from the very beginning of this ad, Apple shows that thinking differently doesn’t always mean thinking hard. The phrase “think different” simply means thinking of an idea no one has heard before.
More times than not, the right answer is the simplest answer. By basing an entire commercial off the “big idea” of creating a circular pizza box for a circular pizza, Apple emphasizes that a good idea doesn’t necessarily have to be a complex one. Apple plays on the fact that, in today’s society, such a straightforward answer would be comical rather than praised for its lack of creativity. This notion – that simple isn’t good enough – is what Apple wants to challenge. In a world where everyone is striving so hard to be different, being simple might actually be what makes us truly stand out.
Think different about who is a creative
By featuring the so-called “underdogs” of the office in its ad, Apple breaks the stereotype of who the most successful answers come from while simultaneously widening its target audience. Apple products notoriously come with a heavy price tag. By focusing the storyline on everyday workers instead of higher-paid upper-level managers or executives, Apple connects with an audience that perhaps wasn’t as intentionally targeted in the past.
In fact, rather than promoting products as being exclusive and high-end, Apple integrates the products into the everyday life of an average person — a narrative that much more accurately depicts the reality of our world today. As Apple becomes more and more popular in our lives, it’s as though the brand wants us to think differently about who its products are for.
Apple’s new ad also inspires viewers to break the stereotype of a who a “creative” is. When we think about the type of person who comes up with an award-winning idea to save a company, we usually picture an executive or leader with heavy influence. However, Apple challenges us all to think of creatives as anyone who’s willing to try. In this case, the commercial turns an employee’s rather embarrassing, unintentional run-in with a top executive into an opportunity. This portrayal not only inspires viewers to be fearless creatives but also inspires us not to limit ourselves with something as trivial as job titles.
Think different about technology’s role in our lives
It may not have seemed obvious at first, but Apple crammed every single product possible into this commercial. If you’re an Apple loyalist yourself, you may not have even noticed the amount of products displayed in the commercial because they’re already so ingrained into the patterns of our everyday lives. Everything from asking Siri a question to oh-so-familiar sound of the iPhone alarm are now everyday norms for us.
With our use of these products becoming so normalized, Apple is achieving its goal of making technology seem easy. Instead of slowing us down or overcomplicating things, technology should work seamlessly, instantly, and effortlessly to make our lives immeasurably easier.
While technology can’t do all the thinking for us, it should give everyone the tools and power to be as creative and influential as the highest executive in the office. This perspective forces us to see technology the way that Apple believes it should be.
From security concerns to simple malfunctions, technology has received a bad rap over the years. At times it’s seen more as a hindrance than a help, but Apple is ready to hijack the conversation and change the perception. This commercial helps us remember that technology is a tool to help us, making our lives simpler and easier.
Think different about how the world should be
All in all, the reason this commercial has received so much acclaim is because it inspires us to see the world in a different way. It shows us rather than tells us that “normal” should be something other than what it is today. Instead of telling us what to do, this ad tells us to change the way we think.
While society may tell us that someone is limited by their job title, Apple convinces us that notions like this shouldn’t even cross our minds. In the ad, the main character was never once phased by her entire team’s opposition to her big idea. Because why should she be when anything is possible? By changing our perspective on the little things, we become empowered to do the things that make the biggest impact — with the help of Apple’s products of course.