Apple iPhone ad ‘Everyday’: the power of focus and emotion

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‘Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera’. That’s the simple proposition. Nothing about a 1GHz processor or anything remotely technical about the camera or the lens. Yet it makes for compelling viewing. I am sure it makes many non-iPhone owners just a tad positively inclined towards the iPhone.

While it is one of the best commercials to come out of Apple in the recent past, it reflects a long-standing quality of Apple: focus. Apple’s focus on product features is legendary:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” (Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference, 1997

Even with their advertising, Apple has always focused on saying one thing. And usually in a manner that amplifies the consumer benefit and not just listing out product features. When you marry this approach with heart-tugging emotion, magic happens. A montage of visuals is a common technique in advertising but very few of such ads work the magic. In the iPhone ad, the sound track is subtle and doesn’t over power the visuals. The visuals on the other hand are beautiful, reflect common behaviour among people and have great repeat value. The ease of use and quality is only implied (and not spelt out) by the words, ‘Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera’. On Flickr, the Top 3 most popular cameras are iPhones. All in all, an enjoyable, memorable ad.

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