Latest Apple Music spot ropes in star power to tout curated playlists

in General Discussion edited September 2015
During this year's Emmys, which aired Sunday, Apple debuted the first in a series of three Apple Music ads promoting playlist features with the help of singer Mary J. Blige and actresses Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington.

In the minute-long spot directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma, Middle of Nowhere), Henson and Washington show up at Blige's house for a get together that quickly evolves into an impromptu mixtape party. Blige pulls out a stack of cassettes, bemoaning the once arduous process of picking the right songs and transferring them to tape.

Luckily that's all in the past, as Apple Music makes playlist creation easy by cataloging music into lists curated by humans and pushed out to users based on specific tastes, moods and preferences. As Washington says, "It's like you have a boyfriend that makes you a mixtape in your laptop."

Apple is pushing bespoke playlist curation as a tentpole feature, one the company believes helps Apple Music stand apart in a crowded industry. For example, playlists are a major component of the Music app's "For You" section, which provides users with custom tailored tunes, and enable content discovery in the "New" music section. Current featured lists include those created by Apple Music editors and third-party curators.

The commercial ends with the tagline "Instant boyfriend mixtape service," and screens advertising $9.99 monthly pricing and the Apple Music logo.

After the ad aired, DuVernay said on Twitter that two more spots starring Blige, Henson and Washington are expected for release later this week. It is not clear if the upcoming commercials will continue with the playlist functionality theme, or concentrate on other features like content exclusives and Beats 1 Radio.

The launch of Apple Music in June marked the start of an aggressive ad campaign that has so far featured emerging artists, established musicians and Hollywood stars. For example, a commercial created especially for the MTV Video Music Awards starred the Weeknd with a special appearance from John Travolta.


  • Reply 1 of 6

    Rap is not "music."  Afro Tribal customs.... let's celebrate low culture.   Classy (not) Apple.  

  • Reply 2 of 6
    arlorarlor Posts: 530member

    Originally Posted by photoshop59 View Post


    Rap is not "music."  Afro Tribal customs.... let's celebrate low culture.   Classy (not) Apple.  


    Okay, grandpa.


    Apple has more than one market to appeal to.

  • Reply 3 of 6
    I am wondering if Apple Music has something planned for Taraji's music industry-themed Empire television show and accompanied soundtrack. The new television show and soundtrack drop later this week.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Saw it during Emmys. The best conventional ad Apple has ever created. So savvy, so targeted, so effective.
  • Reply 5 of 6

    The ad felt very un-Apple-like when they were describing the feature. More conversational than their wordless or poetic ads. I don't mean that it's bad, just different.


    I wonder if this kind of ad is more appealing to black people.

  • Reply 6 of 6
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,641member

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

    Saw it during Emmys. The best conventional ad Apple has ever created. So savvy, so targeted, so effective.

    I don't think any one person can determine whether it's effective.   I'm certainly not the demographic for that ad in any way, but I found it incredibly annoying.   I guess it was too much irrational exuberance for my taste.


    A comparison to cassette-based mixed tapes might have been appropriate when iTunes was first introduced, but it seems anachronistic now.   Who even still has any cassette tapes?   Everyone I know re-created their mixes on CD 10-20 years ago and in their MP3 libraries since.   The spot would have been more appropriate if it had featured three 85-year-old technophobes rather than three relatively young, hip, current TV stars.    


    Compare that to the latest Pandora TV spot which is about the anticipation of the next track, which they want you to believe is specifically chosen for you.  I think the Pandora spot is far better than the Apple spot.   The Apple spot was loud, but not emotional.   The Pandora spot was emotional, but not loud.  The latter was superior, IMO.  

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