Why Apple Continues Winning - The AirPods Pro Ad
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
We’re tired. We’re tired of eating different variations of the same fruits and vegetables cooked in an unremarkable array of additives. We’re tired of opening our eye and witnessing the same lousy VFX-job over and over again. We’re tired of using the same limbs we were born in to do the same actions. We’re tired of staying in our houses and following our mundane pre-set storylines set by an unbothered spectator. We’re tired of living in this reality.
Someone has noticed.
When an unsuspecting viewer starts watching one of Apple’s ads, they’re not expecting the immediate attraction that follows. They trust their subconscious to put the reality filter on before processing the commercial. It’s just a commercial, you can’t be drawn to a commercial. Right?
But Apple doesn’t believe in selling you reality. TBWA, the company that makes most of their commercials, doesn’t want to give you tangible utility. What they’re offering is a momentary escape, a ticket to another universe where the same rules don’t apply. A world where you can immerse yourself in neon colours and dance in the middle of the road by a simple snap. They’re not giving you shiny new products. They’re giving you escapism.
Which brings me to one of their best, one of the best commercials I’ve seen till date - The AirPods Pro - Snap
The commercial starts with a mundane setting. A girl walking on a busy sidewalk with strangers shoving past her. She seems exasperated. She gets her AirPods out and puts them in. Immediately, you can faintly hear The Difference by Flume and Toro Y Moi in the background. Setting the scene with various angles of her surroundings - still bland, still overcrowded, still filled with overwhelming muted tones. She snaps, obviously.
And she’s in another world. She can finally catch a breath.
As the ad carries forward, you feel yourself being drawn to the high-budget neon visuals that call for attention without even asking and the major upbeat vibes of the song. She’s understood how she can leave this world. She’s liberated, at last, and she’s aware of the power she now has. She’s happy. You see trippy lights and a liberated girl. By this point, you’ve forgotten yourself.
The camera stays with her as it plays with dutch angles and well-paced pans as she dances. Her freedom is reflected in the camera’s movements. She keeps travelling between realms at a snap so every time you see the neon, the novelty is amplified.
The commercial ends with her running towards and catching a bus. She sits with the sweet aftertaste of her latest escapade still lingering in her mouth. You’ve watched her the entire time, so naturally, you are her and you feel exactly what she’s feeling.
And then you see it. The logo. The brand slate. This was a commercial, maybe you’d forgotten. You’re snapped back to reality, but perhaps you don’t mind it as much anymore. Now you know what your ticket to leave is. Apple has perfected the needle-drop and they know just how to use it to their benefit. Giving you an escape for 2.05 minutes, and then taking it away just as easily.
If you want more of it, you’ll simply have to buy the product.
You can watch the ad here:
This article is written by Aditi Patel, a friend
and guest writer at TLS. Aditi loves the world
of books, cinema and advertisements and is the
coolest person to have a conversation with. Her
love for art and the digital world is reflected in
all she does. When she is not busy being cool,
she plays the piano and stares at walls.