Apple AirPods Pro: Making the crowd disappear, Apple style

Snapping in and out of ANC

by: - Last updated on: March 13th, 2020

Apple released the AirPods and the “truly” wireless earbuds sold like hotcakes. Then came the AirPods second generation which were a notch above the first AirPods but were not vastly different. The Cupertino tech giant then released the AirPods Pro and took the wireless earphone game up several levels. The most hyped and talked about features on the buds were Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. Apple has now released an AirPods Pro ad highlighting these.

Two minutes, two worlds

The two-minute-long ad, “Snap” features a woman moving hastily through a crowded city space. She then takes her AirPods Pro out, puts them on and the music starts playing. At this moment, both ambient city noise and her music are present simultaneously in the ad. The woman then holds and presses the Force Sensor on the tiny stem of the bud and is suddenly transported to an extremely colorful city which is exactly like the one she is walking through.

Only without the crowd. And with a lot of neon light, signs and colors.

The ambient noise, which was pretty prominent earlier, also vanishes the moment she presses the Force Sensor. When she is in the alternate city space, she dances with almost fanatical freedom to the song playing on her AirPods Pro.

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The woman then holds and presses down the tiny touch panel again and gets magically transported back to the regular hustling city, complete with ambient noise. This happens many times – the woman keeps turning the ANC feature on by pressing the touch panel and gets transported to the alternate, colorful and empty cityscape and then turns ON the Transparency mode on by pressing and holding down the Force Sensor again, whenever she needs to come back to reality. In the end, she catches a bus and grabs a seat. The ad ends with the words “Transparency mode”, “Active Noise Cancellation” and “AirPods Pro” on the screen followed by the company’s logo.

D-ANC-ing like no one’s watching

Much like many other AirPods ads in the past, this one also includes a lot of dancing and a good squeeze of day-dreaming. This concoction of reality and fantasy is something we have repeatedly received from Apple and have grown very fond of it. “Snap” follows the same line of thought. It has elements of reality and unreality mixed brilliantly in a two-minute ad that works effortlessly to highlight the features of the product, ANC and Transparency mode.

There is no explanation, no steps to follow, no elaborate procedure showing how the product is supposed to be used or how the feature works. It just simply shows a woman taking out her AirPods Pro, and how pressing down the tiny Force Sensor on the buds transports her to a world of immersive music experience and how she can switch back and get to the real world by pressing the touch panel again.

All of this is pretty indirect. But even if you have not heard of ANC or Transparency mode or AirPods Pro altogether, this ad will still make you understand how they work. The way it shows the woman getting transported to a different and alternate musical world full of neon lights with complete absence of any mortals, how the ambient noise stops in that setting and then comes back again when she turns on Transparency mode – all of it just explain what the ad wants to convey even before it actually brings the labels out at the end. If you have not heard of these features, you will still be able to make out that holding down that Force Panel is what takes her to an alternate cityscape with music at the center of it and then back to reality.

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We have often stated that highlighting ANC on a pair of earphones is great but we want to be able to hear what is happening around us when needed and Apple has shown that very well in this ad. Instead of just showing how great and immersive the experience can be on the AirPods Pro, it actually shows that you can use them even when you are walking down a busy road and thanks to Transparency Mode, you will not get hit by a bus.

We also love how the ad showed the words “Transparency Mode” at the end in regular white color with the basic city in the background and ambient noise and then showed, “ Active Noise Cancellation” in those neon lights with no noise and just the music. The way in which the Apple logo switches between basic white and neon colors in the end was also a very neat touch in our book.

Two minutes, too long

While the ad is very good, we do not think it is perfect. Stretching it for two minutes was a bit much. After all, it only showed the same thing happening again and again. Making it shorter would have helped in making it more impactful. Also, the basic storyline of the ad is something we have seen in other AirPods ads in the past. This actually did not feel like a fresh ad but was more like a cover of an ad that has already aired and was a success.

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“Snap” is definitely a good ad from Apple but it is not something that will blow your mind. It tends to go on and on and keeps repeating the same thing. It is not bad by any means, but definitely not ‘Snap’-py.

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