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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79

    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.

  • Reply 2 of 79

    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.

  • Reply 3 of 79

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

  • Reply 4 of 79
    bcodebcode Posts: 138member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     

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


    Pretty much :P

  • Reply 5 of 79
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    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.

  • Reply 6 of 79
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    its called motivation.

    TBWA was getting fat and lazy and needed a kick in the butt.
    Looks like it worked.
    Looks like what worked?
  • Reply 7 of 79
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 79
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    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.

  • Reply 10 of 79
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member
    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"?)

  • Reply 11 of 79
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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. 

  • Reply 12 of 79

    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 

  • Reply 13 of 79
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,694member
    Oh shit. I see a Christmas Tree! Have yourself a Merry Little "Holiday," indeed.
  • Reply 14 of 79
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    Even the Apple ads that poked fun at Microsoft have been charming, stylish, fun, memorable. 

    Apple just *gets* it.

    indeed. it's called "class".
  • Reply 15 of 79
    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  

    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!!
  • Reply 16 of 79
    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.     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^)

  • Reply 17 of 79
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    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

  • Reply 18 of 79
    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.

  • Reply 19 of 79
    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!

  • Reply 20 of 79
    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.     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.

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