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Apple’s Most Iconic Ads

Posted on by Brittany Fleit, Marketing Lead

It’s the end of September, which means it’s time for Kiip’s roundup of the best commercials.

This month, we’re switching things up. Rather than showcase the best ads from the past four weeks, we’re giving an ode to Apple. In honor of the new iPhone 6, it's time to flash back to Apple’s greatest advertising campaigns.

Apple commercials

Here they are, in all their glory.

10. Macintosh: George Clinton

I’m not sure how famous this ad was when it first hit the airwaves in 1994, but the funkadelic George Clinton can top any list. In this ad, he talks about the importance of power – how it relates to his life, and how it relates to Apple. “Power comes in all kinds of colors. Power is having access to the universe.”

Preach it, George.

9. iPhone 4: Meet Her

Alongside Apple’s more famous campaigns are the one-off ads that bring tears to your eyes. This commercial depicts a new father FaceTiming his own father – now a sweet, graying grandfather – as he looks upon the baby for the first time. The ad doesn’t let you see much, except for the face of the grandfather as he lights up. It illustrates Apple's ability to transcend its products and advertise how a phone can connect a family.

“How does it feel being a grandfather?” the dad asks.

“Incredible,” he responds, choking back tears.

Excuse me for a moment, there’s something in my eye.

8. iPod Nano: 1234

Apple always excelled at producing commercials with catchy, irresistible songs. Indeed, Feist’s “1234” sets the soundtrack for this famous iPod Nano ad. It’s just as hard to get out of your head now, as it was back then.

7. iMac: 3 Steps

The iMac was revolutionary in its simplicity. While other computers featured a tangled bundle of cords, the iMac had one plug.

My memories of the iMac involved a ridiculous amount of crashes (oh technology, you’ve come so far), but it remained a popular purchase nonetheless. This unforgettable ad showcases three steps to using a candy-colored iMac.

6. iPod: Jet

When Apple had its own near-death experience, the iPod was its saving grace. The little music player revived the company and shaped what it would become. It’s only fitting that an iconic product had iconic ads.

“Silhouette” was one of Apple’s most successful campaigns to-date. Shrouded silhouettes danced against neon backgrounds, with Apple’s signature white earphones clearly visible. Each commercial in the series featured a different upbeat song, but this was the most popular.

5. iPhone 4s: John Malkovich

Apple had another memorable campaign stretch when it introduced Siri. There were a number of celebrity endorsers for the personal assistant feature, including Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel, but John Malkovich, set to a calming operatic score, has an undeniable charm in this spot. See it for yourself below.

4. Mac: Better

“Get a Mac,” also referred to as “Mac vs. PC,” comprised Apple’s most famous commercials. This campaign ran for three years and topped off at 66 ads – the one below is the very first.

Justin Long and John Hodgman are in fine form, debating who is better at spreadsheets versus “life” stuff, like music, photos and movies. It set the tone for the beginning of the quirky series, with Justin as Apple’s best-ever spokesman.

3. Apple: Think different

While Apple products are used by virtually all demographics, Apple has always catered a bit to creatives. In this 1997 advert, Apple instructs us to “think different,” the slogan that skyrocketed it to success. The commercial pans by revered leaders like King, Einstein and Gandhi, and alludes to how being a little “crazy” can better the world. It takes a second after the spot ends to realize that Apple never even mentions its product.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble-makers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

2. Macintosh: 1984

It took a bit of debating if this deserved the first or second slot. After all, it's not just Apple’s first commercial, but one of the most successful advertisements ever created from any brand.

This commercial originally aired during the Super Bowl in 1984, during the height of the Cold War. It plays off the hit novel of the same name, by envisioning a future free from conformity. It's an interesting message to look at 20 years later, as Apple’s products are universally popular – and force users into a closed ecosystem.

1. iPhone 5s: Misunderstood

“Misunderstood” earned Apple an Emmy for "Outstanding Commercial." This heartwarming ad definitely deserved it.

Millennials get a bad rap for their love of technology, but one boy uses his phone to create a touching video during the holidays. While his family thinks he’s shying away from their attention, he’s actually filming close-up shots of grandpa running in for a hug, his baby sister baking cookies, snowball fights, snow angels and other tender moments rarely caught on camera.

Did we miss any Apple ads that you think should have made the list? Leave us a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter.

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Tagged iPhone, ipod, john malkovich, siri, Advertising, advertising, Apple, george clinton, imac, ipad, ipod nano, macintosh

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