Apple’s New iOS 10 Ad Turns One Lonely Balloon Into A Celebration

A single balloon can mean many things, but the new iMessage wants to fill your screen with them.

Apple’s New iOS 10 Ad Turns One Lonely Balloon Into A Celebration

WHAT: A new Apple ad highlighting iOS 10’s “expressive messaging” abilities.

WHO: Apple, TBWA\Media Arts Lab

WHY WE CARE: A single balloon can mean many things: “This is where the party is” or “joy is fleeting, and this remnant of happy times is all that remains” are just two of the range of emotions that can be encapsulated by the image of a lone red balloon. Apple wisely taps into the latter iconography in the first part of its ad for the iPhone 7 and iOS 10, which highlights the robust, revamped iMessage capabilities in the new operating system. As a sad balloon flutters out a window and floats along landscapes by turns gray and verdant, traversing bridges as it encounters more balloons of different colors, it arrives through another window–joined, finally, by countless friends. As it does, a woman’s iPhone receives a message of a hand-drawn heart and “happy birthday,” while her screen–and her apartment–fill with balloons, showing off the message effects of the new messaging effects that come built into iOS 10.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.