[Tech Ad-ons] Behind the Mac – A. R. Rahman: A little out of tune

Creating impactful music, not impactful ads

by: - Last updated on: July 27th, 2018

Apple has added a new ad to the “Behind the Mac” ad campaign (you can read our thoughts on the first ads here), and it comes with an Indian touch. The campaign which revolves around people, some well known, others less so, all creating something “beautiful” or “wonderful”, “Behind the Mac” has now released another spot which features the Academy award-winning Indian music composer, A.R. Rahman.

https://youtu.be/MzR222WKaUI

Short, simple and dry

“Behind the Mac – A.R. Rahman”, is a 52-second ad that begins with Rahman working behind a MacBook Pro while sitting between two huge speaker arrangements. After this, the ad shows him brushing his fingers swiftly on a piano creating a soft tune while his monologue begins in the background. In his monologue, he talks about how music has given him respect, love and how it is a spiritual zone for him. He then mentions that “if anything slows down your art it is not good for you” and how he switched from hard rock sequences to Mac. He also talks about how some people are traditionalists but that he is a rebel, sneaking in a smile there.

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As he continues to work on his MacBook Pro, two text lines appear in the foreground saying, “A.R. Rahman’s compositions have changed the way the world thinks of Indian music.” This is followed by the words “Make something wonderful,” and “Behind the Mac.” The spot ends with Apple logo after which a still of Rahman working on the Mac from the ad takes the screen for about seven seconds along with a shortcut to another ad from the campaign. There is no background music as such in the ad but only the melody that Rahman is composing during it.

Same DNA, but different impact

Just like almost all the ads in the campaign (barring the one), the A.R. Rahman ad for the Mac shares the same DNA. It is a basic testimonial spot which shows Rahman in his prime environment creating what he is best known for- music. The ad, much like the previous ones in the campaign, is short and simple. It is just a 50-second spot which mostly shows this composer behind a computer working on his music.

It is the general tone of the campaign that the monologue is mostly about the artist and the visuals that are heavy on Macs compensate for the absence of the device in the testimony. And this one is no different.
The good part about this ad is that there was a lot of screen time given to the MacBook and because the logo was sitting right up front most of the times, it just constantly kept reminding us that it is an Apple ad because God knows we needed to remember it.

While we did have a few issues with previous ads from this campaign, we think, this one is the driest of all. Unlike the other ads where how the computer helps the artist in a unique way and how it is almost vital part of their creations is very well depicted, the presence of the device here feels very superficial. Just like his smile at the end of the “I am a rebel” statement which almost felt as forced as this ad (there, we said it!). Yes, he is shown working on the Mac in the spot, but the monologue and the visuals did not deliver as much as the other ads in the campaign.

Not quite worth the wait

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Accuse us of nationalism if you wish but we kinda had high hopes and were waiting eagerly for this ad to be released when we caught a glimpse of A.R. Rahman in the “Behind the Mac – Apple ” ad but to our disappointment this one turned out to be the least impactful out of the lot so far. All the other monologues with the visuals did make us believe that using the Mac made the life and work for the people in the ads remarkably easier but we did not get the same vibe in this ad. It seemed very surface level (almost forced, we would say, and the pun was unintentional).

Rahman’s music is known to have a lot of soul.

Ironically his ad film about the Mac did not seem to have any.

Sorry, not sorry.

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