Aside from the dog-and-Comey show on Capitol Hill, the other big event of the week live-tweeted by obsessives was Apple’s latest WWDC. While we got the expected collection of new products and features, some more celebrated than others, the brand also took the opportunity to unveil two very different ads.
The first was to remind us just how much it has us all balled up in its tightfisted techno-grip . . . but in a lighthearted funny way! The second, used Carl Sagan and some beautiful “Shot on iPhone” footage to remind us that our little blue planet is dying and we should probably do something about it. Only one made this week’s list. Can you guess which one? Onward!
What: In the wake of the U.S. pulling out of the Paris accord, a new iPhone ad uses Carl Sagan’s book Pale Blue Dot as a reminder of what’s at stake.
Why We Care: Okay, hear me out. I really liked “Appocalypse” even if, despite the laughs, it kind of creeped me out that they made a joke out of our dependence on their products. But while that one was for the real Apple heads at WWDC, the brand chose to debut “Earth” during the NBA Finals as a direct response to where U.S. policy is on climate change. Of course, it has to back up its words (or, in this case, Carl Sagan’s) with action, but by taking a defined stand on such a significant issue, Apple is staking a claim and standing for something—an approach that will prove to pay off in the long run.
Ikea “The Blue Bag”
What: A thoughtful spot that uses the Swedish retailer’s simple blue bag as a metaphor for its entire brand mission.
Who: Ikea, Acne
Why We Care: Simply put, this is a brand truth told beautifully well. Those damn blue bags are everywhere, and we use them for everything. Turns out, so does everyone else. Hell, it’s even been high fashion. But as this ad points out, it actually doesn’t have any lofty ambitions at all and is just fine with its global utilitarian role, thanks.
SickKids Foundation “SickKids vs. Dadstrong”
What: A new Father’s Day ad from the fundraising foundation for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
Who: SickKids Foundation, Cossette
Why We Care: This ongoing campaign has been top notch since it launched last year, right up to this past Mother’s Day, and now it uses another real story for Father’s Day. It’s a slow, deliberate, heartbreaking yet inspirational look at what the daily grind looks like when you have a gravely ill child.
Equinox “The LGBTQ Alphabet”
What: For Pride Month, Equinox partnered with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center for a dance film that illustrates just how diverse the LGBTQ community really is.
Who: Equinox, Wieden+Kennedy New York
Why We Care: I think Equinox executive creative director Liz Nolan said it best to my colleague KC Ifeanyi about the campaign earlier this week. “We went into this saying there is an [existing] idea of pride: It’s rainbows, it’s electronic dance music, it’s the parade, and that’s all fantastic,” she said. “But there’s also a more serious, thoughtful side of it, too. What this film does is provoke a new conversation around pride and specifically a brand’s right to speak about pride by deepening this understanding of what LGBTQA means.”
Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs “The Lunchbox”
What: A lovely, simple ad to attract more people to sign up as foster families in Norway.
Who: Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Kitchen Oslo
Why We Care: It’s cute and gets the point across. Job done, right? In the last week, it’s also attracted almost 120 million Facebook video views, and hopefully, a lot more new foster families.