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Apple's holiday-themed 'Misunderstood' iPhone ad wins Emmy for 'Most Outstanding Commercial'

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
Another prestigious trophy can be added to Apple's long list of award winning advertisements, as the company's iPhone ad "Misunderstood" has been honored with a Creative Arts Emmy for 2014's most "Outstanding Commercial."




The holiday-themed ad, in which a teenager is seen staring at his phone during a family gathering, was done in partnership with ad agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab and production company Park Pictures. The commercial eventually reveals that the boy has been editing together a movie on his iPhone, and culminates with a tear-inducing finale where everyone gathers around to watch the final product.

Apple's Emmy beat out competing ads from General Electric, Nike, and two nominations for Budweiser spots that aired during the Super Bowl.

Apple's "Misunderstood" ad is part of an ongoing campaign by the company that goes beyond the product to tell stories of how technology affects our culture and daily lives. The "Misunderstood" ad in particular tugged at heartstrings with a solo piano rendition of the holiday classic "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."



The award shared with TBWA is noteworthy because recent reports have suggested Apple is planning to bring its advertising efforts in-house, potentially ending its longtime partnership with the respected agency. Recently, a survey measured the effectiveness of Apple ads over the last year, pitting those made by TBWA against Apple's own creations, and found that the outside ad agency produced better results.

But it's been claimed that TBWA officials have been at odds with the style of Apple's own marketing chief, Phil Schiller. Tensions are said to have risen after Steve Jobs died in 2011 and Schiller took over approval of ads.

Apple's most famous and heralded ad is the "1984" spot that aired during the Super Bowl that year. The title is a play on George Orwell's book, and revealed to millions the coming of the first Macintosh personal computer.

The company had many more iconic advertisements over the years, but perhaps the best known was the "Get a Mac" campaign, featuring actor Justin Long as the suave embodiment of a Mac, while the bumbling John Hodgman played the part of a stuffy, less capable Windows PC.
post #2 of 86
So where are all the clowns that say Apple ads suck?
post #3 of 86

If TBWA is making good ads that are outperforming Apple employee made ads, I don't see why they should be dropped.  It shouldn't be done just for the sake doing everything in-house.

post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post
 

If TBWA is making good ads that are outperforming Apple employee made ads, I don't see why they should be dropped.  It shouldn't be done just for the sake doing everything in-house.

 

its called motivation.

 

TBWA was getting fat and lazy and needed a kick in the butt.

Looks like it worked.

post #5 of 86

That was the last great ad from Apple. There were quite a few mediocre ones prior to that, as I recall.

 

The current crop of moody, sulky, preachy-sounding, self-satisfied ads -- with their utterly mediocre music ("Gigantic" is Exhibit A) -- needs to be jettisoned.

post #6 of 86

I must be the only one who didn't like this....

post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

I must be the only one who didn't like this....

Pretty much :P

post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

So where are all the clowns that say Apple ads suck?

 

Even the Apple ads that poked fun at Microsoft have been charming, stylish, fun, memorable. 

 

Apple just *gets* it.

post #9 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

its called motivation.

TBWA was getting fat and lazy and needed a kick in the butt.
Looks like it worked.
Looks like what worked?
post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That was the last great ad from Apple. There were quite a few mediocre ones prior to that, as I recall.

The current crop of moody, sulky, preachy-sounding, self-satisfied ads -- with their utterly mediocre music ("Gigantic" is Exhibit A) -- needs to be jettisoned.
Are those TBWA or Apple in-house ads? I don't mind them but it would be cool to see some fun, less serious ads for a change.
post #11 of 86
I think the current Macbook Air ad (with the various cover styles) is genius. I was in a room full of folks when it came on last weekend. After the ad, nearly everyone wanted it--the ad is lustworthy without being gratuitous. The bassline is deadening.
post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

I must be the only one who didn't like this....

I'm just glad you're not part of Apple's marketing department.  No ad appeals to everyone.  I think they only have to appeal to the majority of their target audience.  As a unique individual you are certainly allowed to dislike the ad and I see nothing wrong with that.

post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

That was the last great ad from Apple. There were quite a few mediocre ones prior to that, as I recall.

 

The current crop of moody, sulky, preachy-sounding, self-satisfied ads -- with their utterly mediocre music ("Gigantic" is Exhibit A) -- needs to be jettisoned.

"…last great ad…"?

Did you mean, "latest"?

(i.e., not "final", but "most recent"?)

post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

I must be the only one who didn't like this....

Pretty much :P

It was ok but it was contrived to make you think the teen was socially disengaged. They didn't show him actually using the camera or editing the clips so a person not familiar with how iMovie or Airplay actually works wouldn't get it. I prefer the ads that demonstrate the features more clearly. 

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post #15 of 86

I only disliked the errors in continuity regarding the ratio of the recorded video compared to how the kid was seen holding it.

 

But I’m a stickler. :p 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #16 of 86
Oh shit. I see a Christmas Tree! Have yourself a Merry Little "Holiday," indeed.
post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Even the Apple ads that poked fun at Microsoft have been charming, stylish, fun, memorable. 

Apple just *gets* it.

indeed. it's called "class".
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post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I only disliked the errors in continuity regarding the ratio of the recorded video compared to how the kid was seen holding it.

But I’m a stickler. 1tongue.gif  

Let me tell you something that you already know. Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. It'll beat you to your knees if you let it. Nobody hits as hard as life does. But it's not how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

THAT's HOW ADVERTISING IS DONE!!
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post


Let me tell you something that you already know. Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. It'll beat you to your knees if you let it. Nobody hits as hard as life does. But it's not how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

THAT's HOW ADVERTISING IS DONE!!

 

Stephan, if we didn't have sticklers like TS around, nobody might have noticed it when Nokia faked the quality of their phone's camera.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbF7TgX9gy8   Yes, we don't expect ads to be documentaries, and things don't have to be perfect. But they shouldn't be abject lies, either.  So thanks to TS, who noticed things in the Apple ad that I also had some suspicions about.

 

ps: It's a good thing life ain't all sunshines n rainbows, or else we'd never get to see things by moonlight and enjoy starscapes an' constellations.  The universe would seem a lot smaller.  8^)

post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

I must be the only one who didn't like this....

Well I don't know if you are serious or not but I didn't like it either. People are all warm and fuzzy about the ending but I think that misses the point. This kid was still buried in his iPhone the entire time watching the family from the outside.

 

Sure, he was putting together the video but it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't really interacting with them. I think it is a great example how people sometimes think they are using technology for a great end purpose but they are missing out on life along the way.

 

I seem to recall someone saying "The Journey Is the Reward". :D

 

-kpluck

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post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

So where are all the clowns that say Apple ads suck?

The recent ads are not as good as the one mentioned in this post and not being designed by TBWA.  So, your point is invalid.

post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

I must be the only one who didn't like this....

Yes! You're the only one!

post #23 of 86
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

Stephan, if we didn't have sticklers like TS around, nobody might have noticed it when Nokia faked the quality of their phone's camera.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbF7TgX9gy8   Yes, we don't expect ads to be documentaries, and things don't have to be perfect. But they shouldn't be abject lies, either.  So thanks to TS, who noticed things in the Apple ad that I also had some suspicions about.


His post rhymes, so I imagine it’s just lyrics to something.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post
 
Sure, he was putting together the video but it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't really interacting with them. 

It was titled Misunderstood so they couldn't really show how the iPhone video editing would have actually taken place. In the real world the teen would have been interacting with the family to get the shots for the video. Your points are all well noted but in this case the director of this ad wanted us to believe he was reclusive in order to have the big surprise ending. In reality the teen would have had evaluated social status in the family because everyone would have known he was making a movie of them.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

Well I don't know if you are serious or not but I didn't like it either. People are all warm and fuzzy about the ending but I think that misses the point. This kid was still buried in his iPhone the entire time watching the family from the outside.

Sure, he was putting together the video but it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't really interacting with them. I think it is a great example how people sometimes think they are using technology for a great end purpose but they are missing out on life along the way.

I seem to recall someone saying "The Journey Is the Reward". 1biggrin.gif

-kpluck

He was capturing moments with his family. That's hardly the same as being buried in his iPhone and ignoring his family.
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

It was titled Misunderstood so they couldn't really show how the iPhone video editing would have actually taken place. In the real world the teen would have been interacting with the family to get the shots for the video. Your points are all well noted but in this case the director of this ad wanted us to believe he was reclusive in order to have the big surprise ending. In reality the teen would have had evaluated social status in the family because everyone would have known he was making a movie of them.
Nobody analyze an ad the way this forum does anyway. What matters is if it hits the right emotional chord and delivers the intended message. Nobody think about whether it totally makes sense after viewing an ad.
post #27 of 86

Why don't Apple just buy TBWA.

 

By the way, that WAS a great AD.

 

This is my first time seeing it, and it did resonate about what the holidays are about...

 

Family.

post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Looks like what worked?

 

Apple told TBWA to get their sheet together.

And TBWA made a great commercial.

post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by InteliusQ View Post
 

Why don't Apple just buy TBWA.

 

By the way, that WAS a great AD.

 

This is my first time seeing it, and it did resonate about what the holidays are about...

 

Family.

 

I thought the holdiays were about celebrating pagan rituals, getting drunk, buying gifts on credit, getting into massive debt, feeling pressured to keep up with the jones, and telling your kids lies that some fat guy worked hard to give you gifts instead of your parents?

 

Guess i was wrong.  Makes me wonder why we can't be a 'family' the other 11 months of the year?

post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

It was titled Misunderstood so they couldn't really show how the iPhone video editing would have actually taken place. In the real world the teen would have been interacting with the family to get the shots for the video. Your points are all well noted but in this case the director of this ad wanted us to believe he was reclusive in order to have the big surprise ending. In reality the teen would have had evaluated social status in the family because everyone would have known he was making a movie of them.

 

wonder how you watch any movie without going into convulsions.

post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by quanster View Post
 
Nobody analyze an ad the way this forum does anyway. What matters is if it hits the right emotional chord and delivers the intended message. Nobody think about whether it totally makes sense after viewing an ad.

Misunderstood is a good title for this ad, because most people would not have understood that the video was being made on the teen's iPhone. Only people like we have on this forum would have known about iMovie and Airplay. I'm suggesting that the reality version I described before would have made for a happier story and also sold more iPhones. For non-Apple-tech people this ad was just a Christmas gathering with one reclusive child who hugs his mom at the end after seeing the family video. It isn't even clear that he made the video.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post
 

 

Stephan, if we didn't have sticklers like TS around, nobody might have noticed it when Nokia faked the quality of their phone's camera.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbF7TgX9gy8   Yes, we don't expect ads to be documentaries, and things don't have to be perfect. But they shouldn't be abject lies, either.  So thanks to TS, who noticed things in the Apple ad that I also had some suspicions about.

 

ps: It's a good thing life ain't all sunshines n rainbows, or else we'd never get to see things by moonlight and enjoy starscapes an' constellations.  The universe would seem a lot smaller.  8^)

 

There's a huge difference between an abject lie and artistic license.  If Nokia faked the quality of their phone's camera, that's a big deal.  If Apple took license in the depiction of something that's altogether doable with the kit they sell, then that's a very insignificant deal.  See the difference?

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post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post
 

Well I don't know if you are serious or not but I didn't like it either. People are all warm and fuzzy about the ending but I think that misses the point. This kid was still buried in his iPhone the entire time watching the family from the outside.

 

Sure, he was putting together the video but it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't really interacting with them. I think it is a great example how people sometimes think they are using technology for a great end purpose but they are missing out on life along the way.

 

I seem to recall someone saying "The Journey Is the Reward". :D

 

-kpluck

 

It means he wasn't interacting with them?  He was certainly interacting.  Are the stadiums full of football fans not part of the game, even though they're not on the field taking the quarterback's passes?  That's just silly.  I guess all our dad's weren't interacting with us when they shot all those Super 8 videos we now cherish. 

I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Apple told TBWA to get their sheet together.
And TBWA made a great commercial.
What are you basing that on? The rumors we heard about Apple creating their own in-house agency came a long time after this ad had been produced.
post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Misunderstood is a good title for this ad, because most people would not have understood that the video was being made on the teen's iPhone. Only people like we have on this forum would have known about iMovie and Airplay. I'm suggesting that the reality version I described before would have made for a happier story and also sold more iPhones. For non-Apple-tech people this ad was just a Christmas gathering with one reclusive child who hugs his mom at the end after seeing the family video. It isn't even clear that he made the video.

 

Oh, my!  Out of touch is too gentle a description.  Who made all those ALS ice bucket videos that have flooded my FB newsfeed if my friends and theirs ad infinitum don;t understand that you can take and edit movies with a smartphone?  Did they all go out and hire professional videographers?  Sheesh!

I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
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post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


His post rhymes, so I imagine it’s just lyrics to something.

Haha. Well I thought it would've have been instantly recognizable.

Microsoft just recently put out a commercial for xbox one with an excerpt from Rocky Balboa's speech to his son in the last Rocky movie. Here's the original scene form the movie.

http://youtu.be/Y3S49LbkpKA

While watching this commercial I thought about this scene where rocky is disappointed with his son's lack of involvement in his life.

It would have been hilarious if he pulled out and iphone and showed his father a home made movie of all his fights edited on a his iPhone.
post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


What are you basing that on? The rumors we heard about Apple creating their own in-house agency came a long time after this ad had been produced.

 

What's your definition of a long time?  This video was shot within the last 12 months.  The rumors we all heard were at least six months ago.  Did Apple suddenly, one day six months ago, get fed up with their ad agency?  The back and forth over getting it right would have been ongoing for at least a year prior to you hearing a rumor.  So that means the notion that Apple was putting the squeeze on their ad agency prior to this ad coming out is altogether viable, and very likely.

I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post
 

Well I don't know if you are serious or not but I didn't like it either. People are all warm and fuzzy about the ending but I think that misses the point. This kid was still buried in his iPhone the entire time watching the family from the outside.

 

Sure, he was putting together the video but it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't really interacting with them. I think it is a great example how people sometimes think they are using technology for a great end purpose but they are missing out on life along the way.

 

I seem to recall someone saying "The Journey Is the Reward". :D

 

-kpluck

 

 

I thought the same thing and didn't like this commercial. This ad is very polarizing and seems to generate love/hate responses.

post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post


Haha. Well I thought it would've have been instantly recognizable.

Microsoft just recently put out a commercial for xbox one with an excerpt from Rocky Balboa's speech to his son in the last Rocky movie. Here's the original scene form the movie.

http://youtu.be/Y3S49LbkpKA

While watching this commercial I thought about this scene where rocky is disappointed with his son's lack of involvement in his life.

It would have been hilarious if he pulled out and iphone and showed his father a home made movie of all his fights edited on a his iPhone.

 

ha! Good point. I doubt after hearing, "I'm leaving you...you never listen!" a guy could pull out recordings of conversations and salvage the relationship.

post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post
 
Oh, my!  Out of touch is too gentle a description.  Who made all those ALS ice bucket videos that have flooded my FB newsfeed if my friends and theirs ad infinitum don;t understand that you can take and edit movies with a smartphone?  Did they all go out and hire professional videographers?  Sheesh!

Taking photos and short amateur videos with a smartphone is pretty routine. Putting together a professional looking multi-clip edited video is a different situation altogether. My complaint with the ad is that instead of showing the exciting features of the iPhone they create a dark emotional drama about a troubled teen, then surprise you at the end. The complete video capturing and editing process is hidden to build the wayward son drama. I much prefer the Apple ads that show people having fun using the devices.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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