Apple Go From Strength to Strength

You may have noticed the significance Apple places on storytelling. It is something we have explored in depth in previous posts such as How Apple Tell Their Product Stories.

Today Apple have a new commercial. It’s really fantastic! Here’s the reasons WHY it works, WHAT makes it a successful ad :

- Visual storytelling
- It brings the products Benefits alive.
- Adding an Emotional touch
- Bringing a Personal feeling

It conveys this through two main areas, they are Product Usefulness and Emotional Connection.

If you are current on marketing trends and how to deliver successful strategies in today’s noisy world (which I take it you are, as your reading articles on Brand Stories). Then you know the real need to make an impact with visually attractive branded content.

Apple’s Signature ad does exactly this, demonstrating the two key themes through the video format.

Apple’s Signature

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Designed by Apple in California, is the signature branded on every single Apple product. It’s a sign of the care, time and effort put into producing every device.

Product usefulness

The commercial is more than an advert. It isn’t just selling the Apple products. It’s putting the devices into context. They are not at the forefront of the short story but the creative output is. The experience that Apple tools (products) enable.

The short video demonstrates WHAT people feel, experience and can achieve when using Apple products.

The off-screen product shows HOW. The devices are specific to the scene they fit, it shows how their products reach their potential claim.

Whilst the audio leaves us two aspects on WHY Apple do what they do. The slow simplistic yet emotionally driven . And the cleverly narrated voice over.

Emotional connection

Every scene this commercial delivers, focuses on the people, they are the centre of Apples universe. Not the products. Apple products are shown, usually statically, out of focus. The devices are not the centre of the commercial. The human experience is.

Apple products are just the tools to help people feel or achieve something.

With this in mind it is a large step for brands to add value on a higher level of needs. Which Unruly Media’s Sarah Wood goes into more detail below.

Throughout the 1 minute video we see the feelings that the products help invoke. The woman connecting to audio, a feeling, a memory. There’s also a festival with crowds dancing to productions made by the MacBook Pro, a family enjoying each others company with an iPad in the background. With the narrator “You may rarely look at it, but you’ll always feel it.”

“Apple’s ‘Signature’ ad works because it shows tremendous confidence in the brand’s place in the world and a deep understanding of the viewer’s emotional responses to the product and the emotional needs that Apple devices help 21st century humans to fulfil. There’s no lack of sentimentality in advertising, but Apple doesn’t overplay their hand. A simple score, excellent copy and a deliberately minimal focus on the actual hardware are enough to convey the sense they want: “You may rarely look at it but you always feel it”. Understated and ubiquitous is how the ad portrays the Apple brand.

The brand have been known for their funny or bombastic ads in the past (Mac v PC), but ‘Signatures’ shows how Apple’s storytelling has developed. Instead of supporting a specific product, the ad (and it’s companion ‘Intentions’) focuses on human relationships, with Apple playing a discreet yet crucial, role in everyday lives. There are very few brands capable of making such a claim, but ‘Signatures’ makes it with boldness and concision.” – Sarah Wood, COO/CMO Unruly Media.

We also see Apple showing the rest of the marketing world what to expect from advertising.
Being one of the first brands to use the 1minute duration over the popular 30 second ad. Alongside CoCa Colas work, they are placing the distance between the selling, the product centred commercials. Replacing it with a story of emotion, of connection and importance on real values.

My question now is, can only large familiar brands achieve this success through such advertising?
Please share your thoughts.

Be sure to check back for the follow up post, breaking down this commercials formula.

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  • http://www.marksampson.com/ Mark Sampson

    Great post Dan. What hits me the most is that the words aren’t “empty”. Too many advertisements are full of vacuous, falsified claims that never stack-up. It’s why many of us don’t trust big business, and advertising in particular.

    Apple is successful because it actually is what it says. Sure, the narrative in this ad is moving (does it deserve to exist? / We spend a lot of time on a few great things / How will it enhance the lives of those that it touches?) But what makes it super-powerful is the fact that we know it to be true.

    For years advertising has been about saying, not necessarily doing. In my mind, the future of building a great brand is actually pretty simple – authentically stand for something, and then deliver against what you say.

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