WHAT: Apple unleashes a handful of new ads for the iPhone 7, Apple Watch, and Apple Music.
WHO: Apple, TBWA/MAL
WHY WE CARE: We love a good, funny meta-voiceover–it’s even become a bit of a trend lately–and Lake Bell’s work for Apple was no exception. But with this new pair of iPhone 7 spots, “Midnight” and “Morning Ride,” gone is the clappy, deep fuzzy guitar riff pew pew pew witty banter of Bell and other celeb cameos, in favor of a throwback to the epic-ly emo style of ads like 2014’s “Your Verse,” featuring a particularly goosebumpy monologue from Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.
For the new Apple Watch we get Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” seducing us as we see the wearable’s built-in GPS, water resistance up to 50 meters, and a super fast Dual-Core processor in stylish action. There’s no way you’re not just a wee bit nervous diving in that pool for the first time.
Which brings us to Apple Music, perhaps the most uneven and surprisingly flat of the new ads. I mean, here we have James Corden dressing up as a variety of stars past and present, including the nostalgia-hot-right-now Spice Girls. You’d think his Carpool Karaoke halo alone would be enough to carry it all, but somehow between the timing, and using actual Apple execs like Jimmy Iovine and Bozoma Saint John, it actually smacks of trying a bit too hard. A rare result for a brand image seemingly built on effortless cool.