Best (and most memorable) Apple ads of 2017

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Best Apple ads of 2017
From AirPods to iPhone X, Apple sold us the goods in 2017.
Photo: Apple

Cult of Mac's 2017 Year in Review Apple’s pretty darn good when it comes to advertising, and 2017 was no exception. Whether it was Portrait mode, AirPods or the iPhone X, creatives working on Apple ads found new and exciting ways to sell us on Cupertino’s latest innovations.

Check out our picks for the year’s best Apple ads below.

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Best Apple ads of 2017

Apple always understood that your average customer doesn’t necessarily understand or care about detailed discussions of tech specs. People want to know how they can use products to carry out real-world tasks.

‘Take Mine’ — iPhone 7 Plus

One ad that managed to cut through the typical technobabble very well in 2017 was Apple’s “Take Mine” spot for the then-new Portrait mode available on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. The ad tells the story of a young woman who arrives in a Greek village to visit her grandma, only to quickly become an in-demand portrait photographer for the locals. Upbeat, warm and showing off the iPhone 7’s impressive tech without a hard sales pitch, it was a definite crowd-pleaser.

‘The City’ — iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait mode inspired some of Apple’s best commercials this year. Following the success of “Take Mine,” “The City” depicts a young couple snapping a photo with Portrait mode, causing everyone else in the area to vanish.

According to its creators, the idea is that Portrait mode lets you “focus on what you love and leave everything else.” A very cute commercial.

‘Barbers’ — iPhone 7 Plus

The last of our picks from Apple’s Portrait mode ads for the iPhone 7 Plus was a great spot titled “Barbers.” The ad tells the story of a barbershop that becomes a smash hit after posting portraits of its customers’ haircuts in the window.

“In Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus, you don’t just look good. You look fantastic,” the ad claims. A very cool ad that, unlike some of Apple’s clumsier efforts to appeal to a hip young audience, does so with style and humor.

AirPods ads

Apple trumpeted the arrival of AirPods with three black-and-white shorts highlighting the joy of Cupertino’s wireless dream. They showed off features like instant pairing and Siri.

Harking back to the iconic white-earbuds-and black-silhouettes ads that Apple used a decade ago, these starred Los Angeles dancer and model Lil Buck. Set to the song “Down” by Marian Hill, this was Apple’s 2017 advertising at its coolest.

‘The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day’ — iPhone 7

Sometimes putting celebrities in ads can appear a bit desperate. Fortunately, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has enough charisma and willingness to poke fun at himself to make this 3-minute, 45-second “movie” team-up with Siri a whole lot of fun.

Johnson plays an exaggerated version of himself. In the ads, he uses Siri to fulfill crazy dreams, from touching up the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, to making dinner with French chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre or even exploring space. Along the way, the masterful marketing piece does a good job of showcasing some of Siri’s most useful abilities — ranging from reading your schedule and emails, to fetching your to-do list, booking Lyft rides and playing music.

‘On Any Given Wednesday’ — iPad Pro

This stylish ad does a great job of compressing a whole lot of iPad Pro uses into an entertaining, visually stylish commercial. It successfully depicts how a wide range of people use their high-end Apple tablets. This is as close to a “hard sell” as Apple gets, and the ad does a great job of getting us reaching for our wallets.

‘Earth, Shot on iPhone’ — iPhone

Apple’s long-running “Shot on iPhone” campaign got a great new ad in the form of “Earth.” The spot depicts everyday users’ iPhone photos of our planet, accompanied by words from astronomer Carl Sagan (taken from his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space).

Released days after President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the ad underlined Apple’s commitment to the environment and sustainability.

‘Sway’ — iPhone X, AirPods

Apple’s holiday ad this year features a couple dancing through a winter cityscape to the sounds of Sam Smith (presumably on Apple Music), using an iPhone X and AirPods.

It’s a similar concept to the iPhone 7 Plus ad “The City,” but still charming in its own right. Let’s hope it sold an iDevice or two over the holidays!

Your picks for best Apple ads of 2017?

Are there any Apple ads we missed that you loved this year? Are there any that you downright hated? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!