iPhone XR ads find smart ways of selling privacy and battery life

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iPhone XR 1
Apple's latest ads are pretty darn great.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest iPhone XR ads focus on the superior battery life and privacy features of its more affordable (kind of!) iPhone.

Titled “Up Late” and “Inside Joke,” the two ads are just half a minute each. However, they do a good job of making their reasonably dry point in an entertaining, and human manner. Check them out below:

“Privacy on iPhone — Inside Joke”

Part of Apple’s ongoing “Privacy on iPhone” campaign, “Inside Joke” focuses on the privacy of communications on Apple devices. Things like strong encryption aren’t exactly easy to sell to a lay audience without the ad seeming overly techie in the process. Here, however, it focuses on a woman laughing at a joke that we, the audience, don’t get to see.

The message? “iMessage encrypts your conversations because not everyone needs to be in on the joke.” It’s a fun, attention-grabbing concept that makes its point succinctly.

“Battery Life — Up Late”

This is my favorite of the two ads. Like privacy, selling battery life as a big feature is hard to do. Apple manages to turn it into something of a heartstring-tugger, by focusing on individual people up late at night. Set to a soundtrack of Julie Andrews singing “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins, we get shots of everything from sleepy security guards to tired new parents.

It may just be because I fall (at least relatively recently) into the latter category, but I thought this was a great spot. As with the best Apple ads, it finds a way of taking a feature that could be overly reliant on numbers and spec, and explains to us why battery life matters. Great ad!

Ultimately, neither of these are likely to be listed among the great Apple ads of 2019. They’re too inconsequential and not “big” enough to compete with longer, jazzier numbers designed for awards. But they are good advertising. And yet another reminder of the fact that is something Apple does really, really well.