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This new Apple ad is epic vertical cinema by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle

The latest elaborate product demo of the “Shot on iPhone” campaign flips the view vertical.

This new Apple ad is epic vertical cinema by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle

By now it’s almost become routine.

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“Shot on iPhone” is already one of, if not the most elaborate and stylish product demo campaigns in the history of consumer goods, as Apple has created beautiful print and video spots using its own phones in place of the traditional Hollywood and Madison Avenue tools.

The brand’s newest is not only an epic, nine-minute ode to film styles, genres, and history—directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle—but it’s also the first filmed vertically. “The Stunt Double” is a surreal trip through silent film, Westerns, action flicks, musicals, romance, and more.

“Part of the fun of this was to try to think purely in terms of vertical aspect ratio and what that does,” says Chazelle, in the accompanying Making Of video. “I just think back to when I was a kid, playing with much less sophisticated technologies than the phone, like old VHS camcorders and things like that, and just trying to do my version of Hollywood movies with what I had.”

This is really the point to the whole “Shot on iPhone” work, that you, yes, you too, can create epic work. Here, Chazelle highlights ‌iPhone‌ features like extended dynamic range, video stabilization, and the ultra-wide-angle lens, all things you get standard on the iPhone 11 Pro. Of course, you likely don’t have elaborate sets and a full production crew, but still.

Vertical Cinema, created with agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab, is the second long-form spot from Apple in less than a month, following its recent seven-minute sequel to the award-winning 2019 ad “The Underdogs.” This extended approach is an interesting one, given our supposed shortening attention spans and collective disinterest in advertising. But both also adhere to the golden rule of persuasion: If it’s good, people will watch it.

Maybe the company is wooing Chazelle to have his new film on Apple Plus, but as ads go, you can do much worse than stylishly showing people what your product can do, and using big names to inspire them to do it themselves.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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