Apple’s ‘Underdogs’ were first seen last year in a great three-minute spot proving what’s wrong with pizza boxes. It focuses on team collaboration for a big deadline.
The same applies to this new spot. Only this time, it’s all happening from home.
The Big Idea
‘The whole working-from-home thing’ is Apple’s sequel to last year’s ad, only this time it’s showcasing how their products come to life in the world of working from home.
The ad (if you can call it that) is more like a mini Hollywood film.
At seven minutes long, a length at which not many ads can keep an audience engaged, you’re still left wanting more. A mixture of perfect craftsmanship spliced with products across Apple’s range. Product demos are seamlessly intertwined, even joking about the usage of some features like the measure app.
They capture what it truly means to be working from home in the current landscape, representing the struggles of home environments, and the ‘always-on’ nature that everybody seems to have now there is no physical divide from the office space.
But the way they’ve done it has added charm and humour.
“I have the kids all week”, "and I have my mum all the time”, “Did you say something Boo-Boo” highlights the pain of being at home, in the nicest possible way. Even down to checking everybody is wearing pants for the client call at the end of the ad.
The team that first debuted a year ago were still more connected than ever, and keeping their optimism high for this “Pandora’s box” spot.
What I love about this ad is how well it captures the differences everybody faces when working from home.
From the younger guy still living with his mum to the dad having the kids for the week. Even talking to the cat, all things that I’m sure everybody has faced at some point in going crazy at home. With an added ode to the oldest team member pulling out a piece of paper for a ‘spec sheet’ and the younger team having to very quickly teach him how to scan it using notes pages (seamlessly done).
I lost track of the number of products and apps you see in the ad. I think it covered everything.
Product demos and new apps were highlighted within the film but still didn’t feel forced. One great example of this was how the guy measured the box saying that it’s ‘1 and a 3/4 iPads’ with one other member of the team telling him to use the measure app. A segment which only took 20 seconds to show a product, an app feature, and make light of it with some added humour.
And finally, a re-run of visiting 'Kevin from Finance' makes it back into this spot, but somehow captures dealing with him in an even funnier way being on Face-time calls to each other, rather than awkwardly going to visit him in his office like in the first Underdogs spot.
Every element of the craft in this ad makes it more like a film.
Down to the art direction of showing time using half of the calendar icon, to the sound effects of kids screaming in the background, and the all too familiar sounds of notifications from the team. All these elements interweave flawlessly into the live-action footage, combining the digital and real worlds.
I would love to see how this ad feels when cut down, that’s if there will be any cut downs on TVC or social, for example.
I feel like these could be brilliantly cut into different product areas, so can still demonstrate the product potential without needing to see the whole film.
On reflection, the only thing I’m not sure about is if at times the energy is a little too high throughout.
It reminded me of watching Uncut Gems, but I think this tempo is what reels you in to keep watching.
Ultimately, it’s storytelling crafted so perfectly you forget you’re watching an ad, and ads like that don’t come around all too often.