August 18, 2014: A Christmas-themed iPhone ad lands Apple an Emmy for “Most Outstanding Commercial of the Year.”
The prize-winning spot is Apple’s “Misunderstood” iPhone 5s ad. It depicts a silent teenager who won’t spend time with his family at Christmas because he’s too busy with his iPhone. At the end of the ad, he reveals that he’s not actually being a misanthrope. He used his iPhone and iMovie to shoot and edit a heartwarming family montage!
‘Misunderstood’ ad becomes a big hit for Apple
The ad attracted some online criticism. A common nitpick asked why the teen shot the whole thing in portrait, only to have the finished product appear in landscape mode. However, it struck a chord with critics and customers.
Like many of the best Apple ads, it opted for a sentimental message rather than a hard sell of technology for technology’s sake.
It also highlighted the growing professionalism of the iPhone camera. The iPhone 5s was later used to shoot a film, Tangerine, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival. In the years since, Apple focused on the iPhone camera as a major selling point of its devices — most notably with the critically acclaimed “Shot on iPhone” campaign.
The Emmy award for “Misunderstood” went to Apple, production company Park Pictures and ad agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab. It came at a time when Apple was at odds with TBWA\Media Arts Lab — which produced Apple’s ads since “Think Different” — over TBWA’s supposed drop-off in quality.
To win the award, Apple’s “Misunderstood” spot beat out competitors such as General Electric, Budweiser and Nike.
Not the first Apple Emmy
It wasn’t Apple’s first Emmy Award. Cupertino bagged a technical Emmy in 2001 for its role in developing FireWire, the high-speed serial port that allows fast transfer of data between Macs and other devices like digital cameras.
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