Apple’s gorgeous iPhone ad shows why Kodak never had a chance (with video)

“Apple is running a new ad in which there is one simple line of dialog: ‘Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera,'” Andrew Partner writes for Fortune.

“Simple, tight, concise message,” Partner writes. “And the ad is beautiful.”

Partner writes, “When I saw this ad, my first reaction was a simple, emotional response to the raw, human editing style.”

Partner writes, “But then on further reflection, I thought of Kodak… How could Kodak possibly have the foresight to battle a phone? They never stood a chance.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple debuts 60-second iPhone 5 TV ad ‘Photos Every Day’ (with video) – April 26, 2013


  1. As someone who has a good $5k wrapped up in Nikon gear, I agree. When I’m not working, I almost exclusively use my iPhone 5 for taking quick and random pics.

    I forgive its inadequacies for its convenience, and I’m also blown away sometimes by how well it actually does.

    Not bad for a feature that is just one of a hundred I use the device for.

      1. “Best” as in you’re carrying it with you, or “best” as in feature list, but as far as actual imaging goes, it’s unlikely the iPhone will be the best compact P&S anytime soon.

        The problem has to do with sensor size and optics.

        That’s not to say that the iPhone won’t be better than your average compact P&S, but if you need telephoto, you can’t compare the iPhone to say the Canon SX280. The difference can be between a headshot, and not even realizing there’s a person in the picture. Or if you’re looking for good all around usage with low-light capabilities, the Canon S110 can produce decent photos in conditions where the iPhone can’t even give get a viewable shot. (I’m using Canons as an example, because I know them, however, Nikons and others have similar cameras).

        Like midwestmac, I have over $5K in DSLR (Canon) gear, as well as over $1,000 in compact P&S gear, but shoot with my iPhone almost just as much as either.

        Also, it’s funny because I often transfer my photos from my cameras to my iPhone and upload live. People who don’t know photography see the photos coming live from my iPhone and think I’m using that, when in reality the shot was made possible with a $1,500 lens.

        1. For still life in low light use CortexCam. It averages a hundred shots or so to take out the grain. Of course, sometimes the grain adds to the feeling of the picture.

          Lack of attachable lenses is a problem. I would like a couple of telephoto lenses ( 2x and 4x ) and a macro. Apple wouldn’t have to make these themselves, but they need to define a mechanism that others could use. One idea is to simply include a steel ring around the lens then external lenses could attach by magnets. Of course, if you have external lenses then you have to remember to carry them with you.

          I heard from one of the makers of external lenses that an issue with all camera phones is tha the lens in the camera is not perfectly centered. It is centered well enough for what it is asked to do but it makes it hard to get uniform results from attached lenses.

  2. If you sit down, you don’t stand a chance.
    If you stand up, you stand a chance.
    If you take a chance, you have a chance.
    If you don’t take a chance, you don’t have a chance.
    If you take a chance on me, you will have the very best! (As said by Apple inc.)

  3. Wow, the author’s right. Kodak never stood a chance because of just how exposed to disruption the camera industry was. And even now, all they can really do is market to professional photographers, although that market is shrinking more and more as cell phone cameras advance in quality.

    Pretty crazy when you think about it.

    1. Well as a pro photographer, I can attest that I have lost bids with my 10K worth of nikon Dx2s and Dx3s to iphones. It blows my mind, but in my professional experience, its for the best to just let those customers go. You can never explain the need of being able to adjust the ISO for all lighting situations/graininess, the need of focal lengths for shallow and deep DOF, the need of being able to manually set your aperture/time for professional/thematic looking photos, and being able to remotely fire your lightning setups to a customer that is just looking for the lowest price. I have found it is a pointless venture. Those customers would never be happy.
      The only thing my iphone does better photography wise compared to my pro digital equipment is create panoramas, that by far has saved me so much time editing and shooting. The panorama setting is by far the coolest feature, that and the HDR setting, which i still prefer to shoot with my nikons, nothing like have the raws for maximum editing potential.

      1. Welcome to the world that graphic artists/designers had to deal with when desktop publishing blew into town during the late 80’s… when every receptionist/secretary/boss’s nephew/niece who had access to PageMaker/Publisher could create an ad/logo/flyer/brochure/business card for a fraction of what a professional charged.

        Of course, 99.999999% of the time such work looked like absolute shit and didn’t actually work for its intended purpose (since it exuded cheapness and unprofessionalism), but hey… it was “affordable”!

        1. You forgot ReadySetGo. 🙂

          “The new desktop publishing technology is the best thing to happen to publishing and the worst thing to happen to publishing is the new desktop publishing technology.”

          1. God, I LOVED Ready-Set-Go!!! I had a Mac, the first gen LaserWriter and RSG, and I was blowing people away with all kinds of simple printed pieces. By the way, the LaserWriter is one of those products that Steve Jobs championed, but rarely gets credit for. There is no doubt that it was the catalyst for the desktop publishing revolution.

            1. Same here. Friend of mine and I did a small weekly tabloid on a MacPlus my 512k Enhanced and PageMaker ver 1.

              Put any graphic on a page and it could take 30 minutes to print.

        2. The Desktop Publishing revolution enabled everyone to do truly dreadful things with paper, and quickly. Hopefully some of that has subsided.

          1. It improved when the old-school Luddites pooh-poohing the revolution signed up by embracing the technology and showing how it’s really done, thereby drawing significant improvements in software and hardware from the industry…

      2. Well said. Te low end price shoppers are not worth chasing.

        (Wow, there could be a message or lesson for all the cheap iPhone drum beaters in there somewhere, but it would be lost cause it isn’t cheap enough)

      3. I sit back and shoot pictures (with my Nikon pro bodies and pro glass) of the folks taking pictures with their phones! Because experience repeatedly shows that when they see the photos I took (RAW into Aperture) and compare them to the photos they took they realize all they had over me was time-to-market! So I look at those people shooting with their phones as future income opportunity for me.

  4. Nokia were pioneers of high end digital photography on their phones. Yes they loaded it up with hardware that was above the rest. There lies the problem. Apple looks at the whole picture, no pun intended, the entire experience of just that one action. After taking a picture on your phone, whats next? Apple packages and creates an entire pleasant, easy and fun experience throughout the process. Thats Apples strength and thats how they innovate.

  5. I’m sure that now there are millions (if not billions) of cellphone cameras in the world, we will soon have irrefutable photographic evidence of space aliens visiting our world in space ships. Yep. Any day now. Soon.

      1. Jeez! Looks like the bitch slapping that you took the other night from all the regulars wasn’t enough? I’m busy making money with my Macs or I’d tell you to go get fucked. Maybe if I have time later.

  6. The ad is a bit too faux-wobbly for me.

    Still, the iPhone is a thing of joy – about half my pix and vids are shot on one, and it’s earned its keep many times over.

  7. After watching another Samsung ad ridiculing iPhones last night, can someone tell me why Apple doesn’t start firing back? Why not revive the theme of the Mac vs. PC ads aimed at Samsung?

    1. This ad is “firing” back. It’s a “high ground” ad that shows people, real people, doing real things. Not actors being paid by marketeers. It is in the same style as the old “The Power to be Your Best” commercials. It is approved by Apple to be produced and aired because it is completely in-line with corporate philosophy: Make a great product and the rest will take care of itself.

      1. This ad is a home run, and it tells us that Apple still has its sense of taste, and its finger on the pulse of what’s really happening out there. One of the best Apple ads ever.

      2. Agree it’s a great ad. Only suggesting answering Samsung, who for reasons I don’t understand, seems to gaining some momentum and gaining control of the conversation. Don’t you agree that the Mac vs. PC campaign was extremely effective (and used actors)?

        1. Oh, I do agree they were effective. But I think that was a different time and issue. 300 million people already had “a computer” and figured that Macs couldn’t really be all that different and/or better than what computers are like: They’re hard! So the I’m a Mac personalized what it means to be a Mac and contrasted that with PC who was “difficult.” It was a campaign that was more akin to the situation Avis fought in it’s bid to unseat the #1 company, Hertz. It didn’t work for either company! iPhone versus Samsung isn’t nearly the same 10%/90% nor are 100s of millions of feature phone users believing that all smartphones are as difficult to use as their feature phones are (“I have to tap three times on 7 to get R? How do those kids type so fast?”) So the Photos TV ad is showing that all these normal people are quite comfortable taking pictures with their iPhone. A little like Mac showing how easy it is to connect a printer, or a video camera. And since this TV spot focuses on a single normal use of the iPhone it could be the start of a series of ads giving the same treatment to other features of the phone, akin to the series of I’m a Mac campaign. The distinction is, of course, that with the iPhone Apple isn’t having to compare it to a given competitor — just show normal people doing normal things with it that mean something to them. I think that is a guiding principle of all of Apple’s advertising but it was just brilliantly executed in this ad, and I hope the same team is hard at work on follow on spots about other features.

  8. You know the old saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”? The iPhone is that way.

    “The camera always with me is worth more than the two sitting at home.”

    I never use my other cameras since I got my iPhone in 2011. Why carry another device around?

    1. That’s exactly why I bought mine, so I don’t have to carry 2 things to events. You don’t hear: “Wait let me go get my camera…” anymore.

  9. The little girl in pink at the end is the icing on the cake in that commercial.

    I think Steve would have approved of that simple work of art, just the essence of use shown.

    1. Even better: She steals the show so well you didn’t even remember she isn’t at the end! 🙂 She is what you remember about that commercial, isn’t it? That “oh my gosh” giggle burns through a lot of life’s cynicism. (I’m also drawn to the fellow who takes a picture of something on the wall and then hurries to catch up with his friends. Hmm)

  10. Please, don’t be the person at the :27 mark. See:

    View post on

    Take a good look at the frame.

    Do you see what the picture is going to look like?

    Now look at the stage. Due to the shallow depth of field, you can’t see the performers, but in real life you couldn’t see them anyway because of the idiots holding their iPhones way up above their heads.

    Don’t be one of these people.

    1. I was at an event recently where the big brother of that person was holding an iPad (not mini) above his head! I really wished it had been a Galaxy Note 17″ and a fight could have broken out… oh wait, it wasn’t a wedding. :^/

  11. I think the best part of this commercial which may got unnoticed is the fact that it shows people using it in every day life situations. Granted, all the scenes were probably staged in some way or fashion, but if you look at them, you can probably remember yourself holding your iPhone in the same manner.

    For example, the guy taking a picture of a window and then running to catch up to his friends or the scenes of people using the panorama feature of the phone. It subtlely jogs people’s memory of using their phone to take a picture and when it does, it usually is of a good memory or feeling.

    I think the best part of the commercial is the little girl laughing to herself after viewing the photos.

    1. There are so many great aspects to this ad. The more I watch it the more I see. One aspect is how it engages you with real people. No sky diving, snow boarding on Mt Everest or surfing at Maverick’s. just a bunch of little stories of life.

      1. Out walking around yesterday and stopped to snap an iPhoto of something. Then noticed a beautiful woman looking over with a knowing smile “that’s just like in the ad.”

  12. Yes, the iPhone is a fine camera. It’s the best video camera I’ve ever used. . . . However.

    We might all still be waiting for the iPhone camera save for the original digital research and work done by Kodak. Too bad a of Jobs-like vision and marketing savvy was not present in the Kodak management. It’s very sad to see what’s happened to one of the greatest businesses of the Twentieth-Century. We owe Kodak so much.
    I wish Apple would buy them outright, and keep them alive and well for another century.

    1. Apple and Kodak, together, made the first mass market digital camera.

      Kodak had the future in their hands, starting with their research in 1975. Why did they let it slip through their fingers?

      They ignored digital photography to protect their film business monopoly. You know, like Microsoft is screwing up their tablet attempts to protect their Windows and Office monopolies.

      Microsoft will make the same mistake and be bought out for their patents before they realize what they’ve done.

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