1984, Think Different, Get a Mac campaign, Hello- the iPhone ad (2007), Romeo and Juliet (2016)…

If you have not figured it out yet, these are just some of the many iconic ads Apple has created over the years. Advertising is a complicated marketing tool. For some, it could be a double-edged sword. For others, it could be an absolutely blunt blade. And for some very rare ones, it could be the perfect tool to get a message across.

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It is not very common to see an ad live up to one’s expectations. It is even more uncommon for an ad to become memorable. Rarely does a company create unforgettable ads, especially in tech, where most ads revolve around specs and numbers. But over the years, Apple has ‘thought different’ (lame pun intended). Time and again, Apple has proved that it is one brand that not only masters the art of creating technology but marketing it as well. Advertisements have played a massive part in its journey – the long (almost unending) list of all the great ads the Cupertino tech giant has created over the years is proof.

The Greatest with great folks…and great lines from The Greatest

So much so that it is no longer surprising to see Apple come out with a great ad. And with “The Greatest,” Apple has just added another chapter to its ad greatness. The recently released ad from the company is two minutes and twenty seconds long, and it basically highlights a few of the features and functions present on some Apple products. It sounds like just another run-of-the-mill tech ad, right?

Well, that is where the Cupertino company adds its magic touch and turns something as routine as highlighting features into something great. Perhaps even The Greatest.

The ad features a number of differently-abled people and shows how having Apple products around them help them live a more accessible, normal life without having to depend on others. A visually impaired person uses their iPhone to detect doors. In contrast, a hearing-impaired mother gets a sound recognition notification on her Apple Watch, alerting her that her baby might be crying – the ad is filled with such instances and examples where an Apple product is enabling differently-abled people to live a more independent life.

The visuals of these superhumans are paired with the most appropriate soundtrack – lines and poems from the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali (also known as The Greatest) set to music by Spinifex Gum. Each line asserts just how powerful a person can be, even as it shows differently-abled people taking on life’s challenges with some help from an Apple product:

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I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale
I done handcuffed lightning
And throw thunder in jail.
just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick…

The ad not only highlights the importance of Apple products and how they can be used in day-to-day life in ways other than how one normally interacts with these devices but also ends up inspiring the viewer. This is a very rare mix for tech ads, but not so much for Apple. The brand has very frequently managed to market its product in a memorable manner, often highlighting how it adds value to the users’ life.

Making the seemingly routine special – an Apple specialty

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The thing with technology is that while a lot of it exists, not all of it is accessible. For instance, many claims that Apple brings features that already exist on other devices to iPhones with new packaging. Once these features and functions hit the iPhone, they become, well… a hit. The feature that otherwise existed for ages on a smartphone before it came on an iPhone suddenly becomes the talk of tech town once it gets featured on the iPhone. This is not because Apple has a reputation; whatever the brand does gets copied brainlessly. There are many features that get benched as well. But in many cases, these functions get noticed more on the iPhone than they would on another device on which they had existed for a while.

A lot of credit for this goes to how Apple markets these features and functions on its devices. Apart from bringing these functions to its devices, Apple also focuses on the ‘hows’ and the ‘whats’ of those functions that many tend to ignore. This basically means while many others might have similar features existing on their devices (if not the same), Apple puts extra effort into communicating how the feature on the Apple device can make the life of the user easier.

Tech is more than numbers or being cool…it is about making life easier

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To be clear, Apple is not reinventing the wheel. The brand is simply communicating what it has to offer. Even this particular ad has not talked about how fast the camera app opens or how quickly you can scroll through content. There are other ads for that, and Apple also makes those regular ads. After all, these “regular” ads that give out information are the basic bread and butter when it comes to commercials. You cannot dive directly into the deep ad end without first learning how to swim in the shallow ad pool.

But while the world is only focusing on basic, specs and numbers-focused ads, Apple is also going the extra mile and is showing how the simplest features that already exist on your Apple products, features that you do not necessarily need to upgrade your tech products for, can help different people live a more full-filled and independent lifestyle. And that is what technology at the core is about– enabling, empowering, and easing how we go about our daily lives. That is the greatest gift of all that technology can give us.

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